Aumont moving back to the starting rotation

Jim Salisbury has the latest. To me, this is a no-brainer. Aumont might not have the stuff/control to remain a starter long term, but he’s still developing, is still very young, and there’s no reason to rush him to the majors in the bullpen. The rumors about his degenerative hip, plus his mechanics made it seem like the bullpen was the only option, but I think giving him a season to start and see what they have makes a lot of sense. If his fastball can sit 93-94 with heavy sink and he can refine his curve and changeup enough to be average pitches, he can certainly be a middle of the rotation starter. And that has more value than a 7th/8th inning reliever. Aumont turned 21 a few days ago, he’ll likely spend 2010 at AA, where he will be young for the league. I have him ranked 8th in my top 30 based on the notion that he’d be a reliever. With them moving him back to the rotation, I’d bump him up to 6th, behind Brown, Gillies, May, Santana, and Gose.

60 thoughts on “Aumont moving back to the starting rotation

  1. Fantastic. I felt it was foolish to make him a reliever, and I think he should have every opportunity to start until he proves he can not.

  2. Trust in the organization. An organization win 3 straight division titles, 2 straight pennants and 1 world series without being competent. They know what they’re doing…despite our desire to question them occasionally.

    If Aumont can make it as a starter that will be HUGE for us.

  3. I think this was the obvious move, even if he eventually moves back to the bullpen. They need to see if he has the stamina and the stuff to be a starter. Part of the reason cited to put him in the bullpen was the lack of a 3rd pitch. He was not going to develop a 3rd or 4th major league pitch in 50-60 innings a year however. If nothing else the additional starter innings will allow him to develop his arsenal.

    That being said – they need to be careful with his innings. Independent of any hip problem, he has been treated with kid gloves the last 2 years. I am not sure he should throw much more than 100 IP this year. Maybe 120 at the most. That means he should start for a couple of months and then the team should either consider shutting him down early or moving him to the pen for the last couple of months to make sure he does not log too many innings. It will be interesting to see how the team handles this.

  4. From what I’ve seen of Aumond, based on youtube clips and his outing in the WBC, it looks like curve/slider is better than average. Reminds me of a Brett Myers type curve.

  5. I assumed this would be the course of action once the deal was finalized, so I’m glad to see this announced. Can’t wait to see how he progresses this year.

  6. I’m surprised. I thought his ST invite meant he was going to be relieving. I’m all for it though. I hope he can hack it.

  7. Reading will be the place to be this season. Domonic Brown, Tyson Gillies, Phillipe Aumont and JC Ramirez at one stop. 4 of the top 8 prospects in the system.

  8. Anonymous, I agree. reading should be an exciting place this season. I hope the new young guns can hang.

  9. good to hear that aumont will atleast try starting before they give up on that option, i know JC Ramirez is on the fence too as far as starting or relieving, is there any word on whether he will be a starter at reading?

  10. do you mean the Phillies really did trade Cliff Lee…I thought that was a terrible dream that I had…great Reading is the place to be!…I live in Philly where Halliday and Lee should be starting together…I hope atleast 2 of them make it to the bigs.

  11. Maybe I am just being me again, but the guy won 2 games last year and got knocked around in the AFL. I am not saying he isn’t a prospect and maybe a good one. But last year he would of been buried in the pack. Here’s hoping I am wrong.

  12. good to here he’s back in the rotation. i can’t wait for spring training to start, the eagles did their usual choke job in the playoffs.

  13. nowheels, wasn’t he a reliever last year? so win loss should be considered even less thatn it should be for starters (which is not at all, i might add)

  14. Of course I realize he was a reliever and his ERA might be high
    because of his age. I am sure starting is the right thing for him now as long as his condition is monitored. But why the party and if I look for a bright spot it is Ks and that might mean closer way before starter. a need position

  15. With Aumont’s stuff, should he sucessfuly arrive as a starter, I would think he could be more than a #3. Somebody wrote his stuff was similar to Halladay, the hope is he can develop the pitching acumen, and smooth out some other stuff.
    As far as the “there were better prospects available for Lee” theory- not proven. All things being adjusted to equal, the prospects given up for Halladay should be adjudged better than those acquired for Lee, because being got is 4 or 5 years of an elite pitcher as opposed to 1 year of an elite pitcher going…………As to the other teams’ prospects were better..not proven. I would believe the Phillies employ evaluators that know every prospective player available in all of the minors, and they pre-selected who they wanted. Most of the better players believed availabe by some would likely come from the Los Angeles Angels, Maybe hoping for a 25 y.o. AAA guy like Brandon Wood , because he plays 3B. And alot of people mostly read about prospects and I guarantee you will see more breathless reports of minor league promise from Palm Springs, CA than Walla Walla , WA.
    Even if the Lee trade was a mistake, it is a mistake with an expiration date. I never say they are cheap, but were Lee to play out his contract, they would never pay another pitcher at the level of Halladay next season. So at the end of the year , Lee goes, maybe only for a couple of raw draft choices. So the trade can be proven not a mistake , if the 2008 title is reacquird next season. It can also be mitigated if the title is not reacquired through reasons other than the pitching situation, and 1,2,or 3 of the prospects acquired for Lee become superior player. Maybe a high on-base-percentage starting OF, and two highly useful starting pitchers.

  16. I also think this is a good idea. Call me crazy, but I would have started him at Clearwater. Let him get reaccustomed to starting in an easier pitching environment. Anyway, let’s hope he stays injury-free.

  17. Love the decision to let him start, with a move to the bullpen as a fallback plan.

    Now I would like to see them start him in Clearwater for the first month or two. It’s warmer there (keep him healthy) and he can get re-acclimated to starting against lesser competition.

    I see no downside to starting in High A. And I think starting in Reading could produce some ugly early numbers which could effect confidence. Why risk that?

    I will transition my excitement for Knapp last year to Aumont this year.

  18. Don’t see any reason not to start him at AA Reading. He already had a brief stop at that level last season and did quite well pitching at the high-A level in a very tough pitcher’s league.

    No doubt the team understands his mental make-up enough to know how he would handle early struggles.

  19. I have been a big Josh Johnson fan since ’06. I would be glad to shut my mouth if Aumont becomes nearly that good.
    I am on the Clearwater side of they intend to stretch him out.
    There is no reason to rush unless they are desperate to make a point. Reading will still be there on june 1. And it is hardly a big park adding another hurdle.

  20. 3up, Sending Aumont to High A wouldn’t be a sign that his make-up is in question. A month or two in High A in 80+ degree weather can only benefit him, minus the risk of splitting his focus between better competition in AA and a new role.

    If you are a skilled boxer (with great make-up), you’ll be better in the long-run if you work up to beating Mike Tyson one day (versus trying him on day 1).

  21. I, too, think they should probably start Aumont in Clearwater, but my guess is that they are going to see where he is in ST and proceed accordingly.

  22. Aumont , I just hope all you guys who buy the progranda the phillies put out are here , when this kid is lit up in reading and does on the dl. for strange injury, He wasnt worth lee, not a great prospect, not a drabek type.

  23. This might be the year I finally purchase a season ticket plan for Reading. Anyone want to project who their starting 9, rotation and bullpen will be?

  24. Ice-9,

    To run with your boxing analogy, you also don’t get better by sparring with club boxers every day either.

    Aumont’s stuff is more than good enough to compete at the AA level and I still haven’t heard a good reason why he shouldn’t begin at AA.

    Starting at Clearwater isn’t going to harm him but it does nothing to move him along either. I just don’t see a need to waste 1/2 year proving he can get A-ball hitters out.

    MikeMike, the “progranda?” as you refer to it is coming from more than just the Phillies. For now, I’ll go with the general scouting concensus over the evaluation of disgruntled fans..

  25. He’s a top prospect who did fine in A+ in a tough pitchers league last year. Why make him start off again in A ball?

    If he can’t handle the jump now, he’s not a real prospect anyway.

  26. A. Because they are changing his role.

    B. Because that team happens to share facilities with the team’s Spring Training outlet. If the Class A team were in a place like Lynchburg, I’d have no hesitation about starting him in AA.

  27. I’d like to give this kid a nice, rolling head start in A+ to adjust and dominate before we promote him. If, at the end of the year, he’s where Drabek was at the end of last year, everything will be set up just fine for a promotion at the middle/end of 2011 (assuming he doesn’t get traded, which is a big assumption given the team’s recent history).

  28. Let’s see how he does in Spring Training against MLB hitters and then give an opinion. If he’s out there pulling a Cole Hamels (that time he struck out ARod, Jeter, etc in one inning) then I’d say toss him in Reading and move from there. If he struggles mighily, maybe just keep him in nice warm Clearwater till June.

  29. I go to ST every year. Trust me, these kids do not want to go backwards. Management doesn’t sit down with them and talk about their future with them. The kids are told where to play and they’re told to work hard. That’s it. Maybe Schwim can comment on it some time. There’s no reason to push Aumont back to A ball when he was already in AA last year. On another topic, I’m playing with my minor league rotations for next year. Do you think they’ll push Colvin to Lakewood the way they did with Knapp? Could Lakewood have Cosart, Colvin, Shreve, Pettibone, and Hernandez in its rotation? That would be very interesting to watch. Reading already had its 5 starters (Stutes, Worley, Cisco, Flande, Nayor) before Ramirez and Aumont were added so 2 of them have to go to the bullpen or to Lehigh Valley. Do Stutes and Worley go to AAA (only Savery, Carpenter and Volgelsong there now)? Does Stutes go to the pen now? At Clearwater, they have May, Way, and Sanchez and then probably Garcia and Correa unless they decide to leave DeFratus as a starter. There are no spots for Sampson so he’ll probably have to go to the bullpen unless Correa does. Lots of good arms which will be fun to track next season. Who will be the first arm from the amazing 2008 draft to make the big leagues?

  30. I think both Stutes and Worley should be converted to relievers. Worley was originally drafted on the thought that he could quickly help the team as a reliever.

    I had high hopes for Vance last year…especially when he got off to an impressive start.

  31. I would like to see Stutes continue to develop as a starter, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all if he evolved into a Chad Durbin-type middle reliever.

    Worley got b-slapped in AA last year – he’s not ready for AAA.

  32. Catch didnt both Stutes and Worley get hit in second half???
    I forget, but both ,do as well second time around the league at double AA.

  33. Propaganda?
    What are you talking about? Didnt you post that ’09 was the 1st amature draft you ever followed? What makes you an expert on Aumont as a prospect?

  34. The Phillies have to try him as a starter again just because they need VALUE. He is better suited to the relief role (like Brett Myers) but he is still young and they can see how his pitches develop.

    As others suggested, his performance in Spring Training (including his bullpen sessions, etc.) will determine where he goes to start the season. The minor league rotations should be interesting.

    Didn’t Andrew Carpenter strike out three Yankees late in Spring Training two years ago? Where’s he going to fall in the Prospect Top 30 now?

  35. I think Stutes may get a shot at AAA as a starter. I see Worley possibly in the pen at AA/AAA. I heard May might start at Reading

  36. PhxPhilly
    “The Phillies have to try him as a starter again just because they need VALUE”

    Nicely put but that is not a baseball attribute. Call it public relations or whatever. Like Myers putting a square peg into a round hole should not be a goal. Try for half a season but baseball considerations should come first, not how it looks.

  37. No way the Phillies double jump May to Reading. They tend to jump the guys who show control. May’s BB% is too high. In addition to that, they really do not have a spot available at Reading. They have a lot of arms at that level.

  38. @nowheels

    It just happens to be a smart baseball decision as well. There’s more value in pitching 160 innings than in pitching 60. A lot of people thought it was a mistake for Seattle to put Aumont (and Morrow) into the bullpen for that reason. You should always try your high upside arms in the rotation until they prove that they cannot handle it. The bullpen is the fallback option. Moving Aumont back to the rotation is not a PR move. The Phillies made the trade with the idea that he would be a starter.

  39. I am not saying it is the wrong move and I stated that put the
    hype is a little over the top. Lets just say it serves both
    world. You do see the Phils need to look good?
    I don’t see him as a starter at all. If that is why they made the trade,don’t think so. He has had several arm episodes(milb)
    but stating Now is the right thing if monitored with BASEBALL

  40. Don’t be suprised to see May at Reading. They did have Stutes and Worley make the same move last year. If he is not there in April he will be by June.

  41. The Phillies rarely double jump high school guys. They normally can’t handle the innings yet and there is really no reason to do so. I guess they did that with Myers many years ago, but he was a number one pick and built to handle the innings (and he threw 175 IP at Piedmont in Low A the previous season).

    Double jumps only make sense when the pitcher dominates the competition. May has not done so yet. One level at a time will be fine for him, though he could get to Reading based upon performance at Clearwater.

    Stutes and Worley are different because they are college guys. Double jumping older players, especially getting college guys through the lower minors quickly) is done often. And one could also argue that the double jump for both of those guys was ill advised as they were not quite ready to handle the AA workload last year.

  42. Aumont still likely viewed as a future reliever, but starting this season in the minors gives him a chance to work more on his secondary pitches, while logging about twice as many IP as he would as a minor league reliever. This is not a PR move — the Phillies brass have never felt that their fans followed or understood the farm. To them, just saying they got a #1 draft pick, as they said with Henry, has always seemed adequate to bury any question of what they got back in a trade. However, unlike Henry who was just about universally regarded as a bust when we traded for him, Aumont is a very serious prospect.

  43. I had Aumont ranked in my top 5 because I thought he’d be a starter. I agree with James that it’s a no brainer to try to get him back to starting. He’s never pitched more than 55 innings in the minors. I’m assuming they’ll restrict his innings, much like they did Drabek. Kyle pitched 158 last year and then they shut him down. I’m assuming they’ll build up Aumont’s innings slowly and then let him go as many as he can. He’ll be on a pitch count for each start. When his effectiveness starts to wane, they’ll probably shut him down. If he gets “tired-arm” earlier in the year, they’ll have him pitch through it. Later in the year, they might shut him down.

  44. Bellman from your lips to Ruben’s ears but after the Knapp
    thing I wonder if they learned anything. It was obvious he was throwing too many innings yet …..
    Sometimes it seems that different people are making decisions and we all know the “too many cooks” thing.

  45. The bottom line is there can be no “IF” with Aumont. Anything less then him becoming a Pappelbon type closer or top of the rotation guy would mark this deal a gigantic failure.

    What we were told was that the org needed to replenish the farm system hence the decision to move Lee now. Consider the Blue Jays flipped M Taylor to the A’s for Brett Wallace a young very promising 3B. You have to believe that deal was there for us for the taking.

    I like Ruben. I was in favor of him taking over as GM but I do not like this move if I had to judge it now. I would have kept Lee and won my 3rd straight NLCS and quite possibly a WS, let Lee Walk and take my supplemental or 1st round pick.

    The deal for Doc in isolation is fine but I would have also been OK with allowing Drabek to come up and take over the 5th spot in the rotation. What do you think the chances are of keeping Werth now after this season when he becomes an FA?

    Looking into the future (as Ruben says they are doing) you have an aging Ibanez who I thought could have been spelled by Taylor this season during the first half against lefties and Werth most likely gone after this season replaced by D Brown. That would have been a better alternative in the long run IMO because you still have Drabek on the cheap for a quite a few more years.

    That’s not to say I won’t change my mind if Aumont becomes a stud in either the rotation or the bullpen but anything less would make this a bad deal all the way around.

  46. I love how everybody talks about these supplemental picks that we would have gotten if we held onto Lee as somehow coming close to the guys we got from Seattle…

    1) We keep Lee, and he walks – we get two supplemental picks (with potentially neither of them being a #1 pick) in the 2011 draft…for the sake of argument, let’s assume they draft high school guys…even in the bast case scenario of them getting some short-season work in 2011 (not a given at all), we are looking at guys who are in the mix when? 2014? 2015?

    2) We trade Lee to SEA for Aumont, Ramirez and Gilles – all three will be STARTING at Reading in 2010 (and at their ages, what does that say about their potential?)….with realistic availability at the ML level in 2012 (which is precicely when we will have some major holes to fill).

    How do these two scenarios even come CLOSE to compare?

  47. ****How do these two scenarios even come CLOSE to compare?****

    Well, one of them gives us the best rotation in MLB for a year…a year when we have a WS level core of position players.

    Me, I’d have liked to go into a playoff series with Hamels as my #3 behind Lee and Halladay.

  48. That’s not the point. It’s not just about 2010…it’s about 2011, 2012, 2013…

    We can certainly win the NL with what we have…and in a 7 game series with the Yankees, we have Halladay and Hamels making 5 of 7 starts – including 3 of the first 4.

    If I have to choose between shooting the works by keeping Lee for 2010, and then have a situation where we have to let Werth walk because we need to re-sign Victorino (because Gose is too far away and we don’t have Shane’s replacement), or we have to over-spend in 2011/12 on a middle-of-the rotation guy or two because Savery or Carpenter doesn’t work out…


    We roll the bones on Hamels rediscovering his mojo (which he MUST do for this team to be successful over the next 2-3 years – Lee or no Lee)…and we add three guys who will all be STARTING (and playing young) at Reading this year, with all of them having a chance to be on the ML roster in 2012, filling VERY important holes (holes that NO supplemental draft pick for Lee can HOPE to fill before 2014), I choose the latter – in a heartbeat.

  49. Right now as we speak its all speculation. I could very well be wrong and I hope I am.

    But if you evaluate/speculate on both of the scenarios we could of had instead of the one we do have I might suggest we’d be better off. I don’t see how starting at Reading means Gilles and Ramirez are locks to be impact starters at the MLB level some time in the future. Like I said I hope they are.

    Fast forward a few years and suppose for a minute they are not I would have to evaluate the move again and say I would do it differently playing the 10 season with Doc Lee and Hamels which a rational person would say is needed to compete with the Yankees in a 7 game series.

    I think and again just my opinion Doc/Hamels (even 08 Hamels) is not enough to make you a WS favorite. Yes we’re still NL favorites all else being equal.

    Here is the thing and there is no way to get around this. No deal can be judged immediately. Only time will tell. Just remember where you stood on the move throughout this season and the seasons to come.

    If just one of these guys pans out I’ll be the first to rise up and say “all hail Ruben” remembering I like him as a GM and want to see him do well.

  50. If the standard that you are choosing to use in this trade is that Gilles and Ramirez are “locks to be impact starters at the MLB level”, then the M’s are freaking IDIOTS to have made that trade.

    I am far from an expert on judging minor leage talent or systems, but my sense is that you want to accumulate as many plus-caliber bodies as possible…because even the highest rated, most sure-fire guy can crap out once they get to the show. To have acquired three guys who will be STARTERS at double-A at the age of 21 for one year of Cliff Lee was ESSENTIAL to replenish the system – given all of the hits that system has taken snce the Lee acquisition. The more bullets you have to fire at the upper reaches of your organization, the more chances you have to hit the target. Even if Aumont craps out as a starter and has to, say, pick up Madsen when his deal rolls off, it adds value to the organization going forward. I remember that Friday night game with the Red Sox last season at CBP that went into extra innings…they kept bringing in young guys who I had never heard of who were blowing 96. We need guys like Aumont in the system.

    In my mind, if one of these guys is on the 2012 ML roster, the deal was not a complete waste. If two of them are on the 2012 roster, it was a great deal. And if Aumont is in the 2012 rotation (with Halladay doing for him what he did for Burnett in Toronto), then it is a freaking home-run…and if there is anybody who you would trust evaluating these guys and pulling the trigger on a trade like this for the Phils, wouldn’t it be the guy who drafted/acquired thses guys for SEA in the first place?

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