Phillippe Aumont made his debut in the majors for the Philadelphia Phillies Thursday, which clarified his potential. Now, the red pinstripes are fun to watch again, but will they vie for the divisional crown next season?
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CAP-SIZE HINDSIGHT: 4-2 Triumph
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This article did not run on Friday morning due to an area-wide disruption of internet service.
The August View:
Including last night’s result, Cholley’s boys improved their 2nd-half record to 13-13 against playoff organizations. They split their 4 battles with the Reds, which put their series breakdown at 4 wins, 3 setbacks and 1 tie. That said, Cole Hamels showed his maturity as an ace, when he had to overcome a sudden downpour and a 34-pitch first. Johnny Cueto, on the other hand, had the advantage of mental preparation before climbing the hill. Despite that easier road, he struggled more in his outing and only recorded 15 outs.
Some believe that Chooch Ruiz will leave after the next campaign, and they probably felt that Hamels wasn’t going to re-up either. Chooch will receive a club-option $5M for the next 162, and–like King Cole–he is a major cog on a mound-heavy franchise. Rube Amaro has a preference for hurlers and receivers, while Dave Montgomery’s favorite player is Ruiz. He, Ryan Howard, Chase Utley and Jimmy Rollins are here for awhile. Utley and the brain trust now realize that his program is year round for both knees.
- The other 4 positions at this point appear to be: 3B Freddy Galvis, RF Dom Brown, LF Juan Pierre and LF John Mayberry Jr. Torii Hunter and B.J. Upton are centerfielders on the open market. Upton is 28 and he is currently earning $7M per, which is half of Hunter Pence’s projected 2013 pay. The bench seems to be Ty Wigginton, Laynce Nix, Kevin Frandsen and Erik Kratz. That stated, Frandsen and Kratz will have more difficulty next season when the opposition has a better idea of the holes in their swings. The league caught up with Mayberry after he hit .301 in the 2nd half of 2011. Michael Stutes, Antonio Bastardo and Vance Worley have had varied degrees of exposure, which for Bastardo eroded his confidence.
Stutes, Bastardo, David Herndon, Michael Schwimer, Jeremy Horst, B.J. Rosenberg, Josh Lindblom, Justin De Fratus and Jake Diekman are in the audition mix with Aumont. Baring more than 2 FA bullpen acquisitions, 4 of them will be in the relief corps. Potential free agent arms would include: Mike Adams, Grant Balfour, Brandon League, Clay Hensley and Rafael Betancourt. Perhaps, Cincinnati will be open to trading Ryan Madson, as they are flush with recent ‘pen success. Meanwhile, Aumont has the gas but he needs to command a secondary pitch, which would keep the batters off balance. Remember, Herndon was helped by working at the highest level. If coach Rich Dubee can mold Aumont, he could have his setup man.
He is 3-1 with a 2.79 ERA and 23 K’s for 4 August efforts. Against the Nats in late May, his line at the Bank was: 6 complete, 9 hits, 5 all-earned runs, 1 walk and 6 strikeouts on 92 defective bullets just prior to his DL stint.
He has toiled 6.1 innings or more in 10 of 25 showings with 4 clunkers. At both venues against the Phils, his mark is: 2-0, a 0.69 ERA, 13 total, 7 hits, 1 run (earned), 4 BB and 16 K’s.
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Starters’ photos, not described otherwise, are in the 1st inning.
Quality number of the pitcher: 1 – 5
Slot on his club: 1 – 5
Ranking is 1 to 5 & 15 for the less adventurous.
*** = Approximately equal to after plus-and-minus computation
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