The Phillies weren't happy with how Phillippe Aumont progressed this season, and Aumont isn't too happy with the Phillies.
"Completely garbage," were the words he used to describe his season to the Morning Call. "I think it was mostly a waste of my time in the sense that ... I don't know. I just felt like I was going in circles instead of going forward. ...
"I don't know what they want to do. If I'm not in their plans, I don't want to be back. But if I am … I want to be with the Phillies, but at the same time if they've moved on [from me] or whatever, then I think it's time for me to move on. There's 29 other teams out there and plenty of other opportunities out there."
The Phillies did not do Aumont a disservice here. The man couldn't throw strikes at any level. At one point this season he had the worst ball-strike ratio in the major-leagues, and he'll finish 2013 with a 4.19 ERA and 1.91 WHIP in 22 appearances, with 13 walks and 19 strikeouts in 19.1 innings.
Aumont was sent down to Triple-A for good in early July, and walked 23 batters in 25 innings over 21 appearances following the demotion. There were only three outings he had with the Iron Pigs from July 10-Sept. 2 in which he didn't walk a batter. There were five in which he walked multiple batters.
His ERA over that span was a surprisingly low 2.88, but 48% of his pitches were balls. How were the Phillies supposed to call him up? Even in a lost season, it made more sense to hope Aumont worked things out against inferior competition and gained some confidence than to continue to put him into high-stress major-league situations where he knew he was being judged closely on every single pitch.
Because of all this, Aumont wasn't among the group of Iron Pigs called up to the Phillies' expanded September roster. Catcher Cameron Rupp, relievers Mauricio Robles, Joe Savery and Luis Garcia, starting pitcher Tyler Cloyd and utilityman Freddy Galvis did get nods.
One has to assume the Phillies will give Aumont another chance next spring and even if he fails to make the team, he'll be given one more opportunity to work things out on the farm. But if the control never comes, then they'll have no reason to keep him and no choice but to cut him. At that point, he would most definitely latch on with another team. Aumont is a former first-round pick who was traded for Cliff Lee.
These guys are always "change of scenery" candidates, even when the scenery has little to do with their ability to repeat their mechanics from 60 feet, 6 inches.