CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillippe Aumont quietly packed up the things in his locker Wednesday morning at Bright House Field.
He could have been packing for a trip to another organization, but he was not. Aumont entered Spring Training out of options, which meant if he did not make the Opening Day roster, he needed to clear waivers to remain with the Phillies. But nobody claimed Aumont, so the Phillies announced he had been outrighted to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
"I am kind of surprised," Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said when asked about Aumont clearing waivers.
Aumont, 26, is the only remaining piece of the Cliff Lee trade with the Mariners in December 2009. Aumont, 26, is 1-5 with a 6.13 ERA in 45 appearances with the Phillies over the previous three seasons. He went 1-0 with a 4.15 ERA in seven appearances this spring. He allowed 13 hits, four earned runs, two walks and three home runs with 10 strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings.
"I thought I did all right," Aumont said. "Walks were down. I thought it was good enough, but some other people thought differently. But it's OK."
There are mixed feelings about Aumont among the coaching staff and front office. Some still see potential in the 6-foot-7 right-hander. Others do not.
"He's shown improvement," Amaro said. "He's showing some improvement throwing more strikes more consistently. He just hasn't pitched well enough to be on our Major League club. He ran out of time with us, at least for now."
A change of scenery might benefit Aumont.
"Obviously I think that anybody would think that," Aumont said. "But the bottom line is I'm still here. I'm still getting an opportunity somewhere. That's all that really matters."
Aumont could have asked to be released, but he said he did not.
"What good is it going to do to ask them to release me when they could have done it on their own?" Aumont said. "So if they didn't do it, it's for a reason. That's the way I see it. I've got some work to do. I'll just get it done."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his Phillies blog The Zo Zone. Follow him on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.