SAN DIEGO -- Phillippe Aumont said he is in a better frame of mind, which the Phillies hope leads to the reliever's success on the mound.
They need it.
The Phillies demoted Aumont to Triple-A Lehigh Valley in May because they wanted him to pitch more and solve some mechanical issues in his delivery that left him prone to walking too many batters. But Aumont, who rejoined the team on Monday after the Phillies placed Mike Stutes on the disabled list, had an 11.57 ERA and 12 walks in only 4 2/3 innings in his first six appearances with the IronPigs. He told a reporter there he was getting mixed messages from the Triple-A and big league coaching staffs.
"The mixed messages were never an issue," Aumont stressed to reporters on Monday. "It was put out as an issue, but it wasn't. It was unfortunate it was sort of translated that way. I certainly felt bad. Especially for the people who were trying to help me. I didn't like that. But it was mistranslated, in their words, because I just remember they were asking me how was it to go from here to there, and I just said I have to find a medium where I have to please everybody. … I felt bad. For a few days I felt [bad]. This is not where I want to be. I'm the last guy who wants to go out there and point fingers. Not at all. But I made some phone calls and stuff and apologized. Stuff happens."
After his early struggles in Triple-A, Aumont posted a 3.00 ERA in his final six appearances with the IronPigs, walking three in six innings.
"I think I was making progress," he said. "I was certainly at the bottom of the cup when I got down there, but I guess it was just an experience of how to deal with stuff and what to do. Everything is good now. I feel comfortable. It's a little boost of joy coming back here. Now I have to get it back to where it was.
"Obviously I was frustrated I got sent down, everybody is, but I went down there and said, 'OK I'm going to have a positive attitude.' I know they want me to throw more innings, to get out there every day, every other day. I said I'm going to go get it done. It was like I never pitched before. I didn't know. I basically panicked. This is not who I am, this is now what I worked for. I don't know who I am right now. Somewhere in the back of my mind I wasn't over it. I got back on my mental issues program, and got it back to positive, seeing the bright side rather than living on the dark side."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.