Spring may bring final chance with Phils for Aumont

Former first-round Draft pick has posted 6.13 ERA in three-year career

Spring may bring final chance with Phils for Aumont

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillippe Aumont seems to have made a few thousand adjustments to his delivery since he joined the Phillies following the Cliff Lee trade with Seattle in 2009.

Aumont changed his arm slot. He stood more upright. He tried this. He tried that.

"I've just had so many changes," Aumont said Sunday. "I try to not even think about it."

All those coaching tips led to what could be Aumont's final chance with the Phils, who open their Grapefruit League season Tuesday afternoon against the Yankees at Bright House Field. The right-hander is out of options, so he must be exposed to waivers if he does not make the Opening Day roster. If Aumont is claimed, Philadelphia will have nobody left from the Lee trade.

Aumont said he has not thought much about it.

"If it's not here, it's going to be somewhere else," Aumont said. "I want to play here. This is a great opportunity for guys like me, young guys, to step up. But I don't think about if I mess up ... if it happens, it happens.

"That's the business side of the game. I don't worry about that. I just try to go out there, have fun and be a good teammate. Whatever happens is going to happen."

Aumont, 26, has a big arm, but he has been unable to throw strikes consistently. He has averaged 8.8 strikeouts and 6.1 walks per nine innings in 45 appearances with the Phillies over the past three seasons. Aumont has a 6.13 ERA in that time.

The strikeout/walk averages have not been much better in Triple-A.

Aumont could benefit from a change of scenery, which has helped players in the past. The moment the Phils traded Gavin Floyd to the White Sox in 2005, he seemed destined to turn things around.

Floyd went 7-5 with a 6.96 ERA in 24 games (19 starts) with Philadelphia from 2004-06. He went 63-61 with a 4.20 ERA for Chicago from 2007-12.

"Yeah, I mean, it crossed my mind," Aumont said about a change of scenery. "But at the moment, I'm here, so I want to compete for this team. If it ever comes down to that and I go somewhere else, then I'll think about it when I'm there. But right now, the Phillies are giving me that opportunity, and I'm taking it and I'm going for it."

Aumont allowed three hits and one run in one inning in Sunday's 6-2 exhibition loss to the University of Tampa.

"I feel much better this spring," Aumont said. "I feel like I caught on to some stuff that I've been working on. This is my eighth, ninth Spring Training. I know how to throw a baseball. I'm not doing it maybe perfectly, but I know how to do it."

Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.