PEORIA, Ariz. -- The first 10 pitches Phillippe Aumont threw to professional hitters in a game situation were in the mid-90s with good movement, the kind of stuff that makes hitters gulp and general managers show off their Cheshire-cat smiles. With family and friends from Gatineau, Quebec, and club executives watching, the Mariners' first-round Draft choice last June unveiled his powerful right arm Wednesday morning during a "B" game against the Padres. It was the first time Aumont has pitched in a "real" game since last November, when, playing for Team Canada, he faced the Cuban National Team in the World Cup in Taiwan.
"A long time ago," he said. Two weeks after beginning his first big league Spring Training, Aumont said his first outing could not have gone any better. "I was real smooth, felt good, could put my ball wherever I wanted and got ground balls," the 6-foot-7, 220-pounder said after retiring three of the four batters he faced -- one strikeout and two ground balls -- yielding an infield single. "That's my game. I'm not a big strikeout guy. I got one, and that's a plus, but I'm a ground-ball guy." He originally was scheduled to pitch two innings, but the game lasted seven innings instead of nine and other pitchers also needed work against live hitters in a game situation. "He threw the ball extremely well," manager John McLaren said. Minor League catcher Adam Moore also was impressed. "He threw 93 to 95 with sink," Moore said. "He has great stuff. His slider was really sharp, his sinker looked good and his four-seamer was really nice. But all he needed today was one pitch." Aumont acknowledged that he was a little nervous at first, but settled down quickly and had a quick inning. "I love playing catch with the catcher and making hitters look silly," he said. Sad Sundays: The football season won't be quite the same in the Jarrod Washburn household from now on. Future Packers games will be played without quarterback Brett Favre. When the Pack played, the Washburn clan would watch the games on TV at their LaCrosse, Wis., home. "We have three kids, and all of them have No. 4 jerseys, including our daughter [Ava]," Washburn said, referring to the number Favre wore with the Packers. "Oh, they'll still wear them."
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.