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Aumont to AA

Phillipe AumontIt just came across this afternoon that the Mariners have promoted RHP Phillipe Aumont from High Desert to West Tennessee. Aumont, a 6'7", 220-pound righty from Quebec, was the Mariners first round draft pick a couple years ago, and you may remember him from the World Baseball Classic. He caused a stir pitching for Canada out of the bullpen, when he loaded the bases against the USA, but then made the heart of the order look silly with his wicked two-seamer, and a slider that will be death to all righties if he can locate it somewhat consistently.

Perhaps in response to watching Aumont out of the bullpen in the WBC, the Mariners switched Aumont to the bullpen this year. In 29 appearances for the Mavericks in high A ball, Aumont pitched 33.1 innings, allowing 24 hits and 3 home runs, while walking 12, striking out 35, and posting a 3.24 ERA. He was getting better as the season went along though - in his past 10 outings, he had a 1.42 ERA, with 6 hits, 4 walks, and 17 strikeouts in 12.2 innings of work.

The timing is a little odd on the promotion. High Desert just clinched the first half title in the California League, and will be in the playoffs shortly. Any promotions figured to take place after that. I cannot find any injury news on Diamond Jaxx players though. Also, presumably Aumont is going to stay in the bullpen, but presumably the Mariners also want to develop Josh Fields as a closer, who is still in West Tennessee. Could he possibly be promoted to Tacoma in the next few days? Opponents are only batting .131 off Fields, but the real concern with him is control.

The Aumont promotion itself is not terribly surprising; what makes it interesting is the timing, and the lack of additional/corresponding promotions. Maybe keeping Morrow in the majors to transition him to starter and Aumont's promotion have nothing to do with each other, but they are both moves that make sense, yet are puzzling at the same time. Why all of a sudden is Morrow staying in the majors to stretch out? Why is Aumont in AA now? I get the sense that something is going on behind the scenes that is not public yet. Maybe it is just me looking for a bigger story where there is none, but some of the recent moves have not been adding up the way moves had been all year long.