Aumont: "I'm my own worst enemy."

Phillippe Aumont at least knows what the biggest part of the problem is and that's more than half the battle. The problem now is getting things fixed so he can have a shot at being consistent.

Phillippe Aumont could be a poster-child for frustration. Ever since being acquired from the Seattle Mariners in the December 2006 deal that sent Cliff Lee to Seattle, Aumont has frustrated fans and the Phillies front office. The size is there, the tools are there and the pitches are all there;  unfortunately, so is the inconsistency.

In a little over a week's time, Aumont went from having three outings with a combined result of 2 1/3 IP, 2 H, 6 ER, 10 BB and 2 Ks to an outing where he faced five batters, retired them all - four of them on strikeouts - and needed just 15 pitches, including 14 strikes to do it. From there, Aumont came back with a one inning outing where he allowed three hits and an earned run. There it is; the definition of inconsistency.

"Rochester and here made me kind of paranoid a little bit," admitted Aumont of two particularly rough outings in a row. "I was asking myself 'what am I doing right now?'

"Sometimes, I'm my own worst enemy," admitted Aumont. "A lot of it is mental. Just not being confident or trusting the fact that I can get it done."

Aumont admits that until his intimidating outing against Charlotte on Saturday, he hasn't felt truly comfortable on the mound. He's watched video and talked to teammates to try to determine why. It's been frustrating for Aumont, because when he started spring training, he felt more comfortable than he has in a long time and hadn't felt that way until facing Charlotte.

"Like my first two outings in spring training, that's exactly how I felt tonight. I had an idea of what I wanted to throw," explained Aumont. "That's how I felt when I went to the WBC (World Baseball Classic) and that's how I felt again tonight."

After Aumont posted a 4.15 ERA in 16 appearances and walked ten hitters in 13 innings this season, the Phillies optioned him back to Lehigh Valley. Even with the demotion, the Phillies don't believe that Aumont isn't going to work out for them and his manager at Lehigh Valley, Dave Brundage, continues to have faith in the 6' 7" right-hander.

"He walked off the mound probably at an all-time low the last time he was here [pitching at home on June 2nd]. He's a strong young man who has got phenomenal stuff and the stuff he was featuring tonight was as good as any set-up man or closer in the game. He did it; it's not anybody else. It's him getting himself right mentally and physically," believes Brundage.

If Aumont can ever add consistency to his repertoire, he truly could become a strong set-up man or potential closer at the major league level. The problem is that everybody has been waiting for that consistency to come and it's just not happening. The physical part is all there, but like many players, figuring out the mental part of the game is the toughest part for Phillippe Aumont.



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