Unless something unforeseen occurs, the back end of the Phillies’ bullpen is set. Jonathan Papelbon is going to close and Mike Adams is going to set things up in the eighth.
But what about the seventh inning?
It seems that lefty Antonio Bastardo is first in line to pitch if Adams or Papelbon need a night off, which leaves a spot for a durable, big arm. Is this an opening for righthanded reliever Phillippe Aumont?
“He has to make the team first,” pitching coach Rich Dubee said.
Yes he does, but that could just be the pitching coach hoping to keep the young pitcher on his toes. But for the second time this spring during Friday’s 10-5 victory over the Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field (see story), Aumont threw a scoreless inning.
In this one, Aumont threw 11 of his 12 pitches for strikes and reached 95-mph on the radar gun. He allowed a hit and notched a strikeout and even turned a few heads of those who have a say in whether or not he’ll make the team when the Phillies head north in April.
One of those guys with final say, manager Charlie Manuel, believes Aumont is just beginning to scratch the surface.
“He has the size and his mechanics on the mound make it easy,” Manuel said about Aumont’s fastball velocity. “He has more there. Every once in a while I want to see him get mad and show how much he’s got. Seriously, there’s more in there.”
Aumont turning heads in fight for bullpen job
CSN Philly | Mar 2