Philllippe Aumont made just four relief appearances over the past two weeks amid whispers he could be sent down to the minors. Aumont’s last two appearances didn’t help his cause, as the big righty got rocked in each, and on Wednesday it was finally reported he would report to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
While this has been a disappointing development for the 24 year old and the Phillies’ bullpen though, Charlie Manuel was upbeat about it. Via the Inquirer’s Matt Gelb, the skipper still envisions a day when Aumont could be a vital piece late in games.
"He has all the potential in the world," Manuel said. "One of these days, Aumont has a chance to be a big-time back-end bullpen piece. But right now he needs to pitch and get regular work in to develop his pitches."
"We're going to always need pitchers," Manuel said. "He's definitely high on our radar as a prospect."
Aumont got off to an okay start in 2013, getting stuck with a couple of losses on unearned runs, but the wheels were bound to come off. He’s walked 10 batters in 16 appearances, and he’s only had one clean inning all season where he surrendered zero hits or freebies back on April 23. Sooner or later that had to catch up with him.
Obviously his command needs work, but that’s been the report on Aumont since he came to the organization from Seattle in the Cliff Lee trade. He’s young, and it’s hard not to like an imposing, hard-throwing righty in this mold, so you just have to hope he can tweak a few things during this minor-league stint.
Gelb believes Mike Stutes could be promoted, his first trip back to the Majors since being shut down last April with a shoulder injury. No announcement is expected until Friday.
>> Phillippe Aumont demoted; could Mike Stutes return? [Phillies Zone]
The Sixers will get Joel Embiid back in the lineup when they meet the Bucks on Monday afternoon in Milwaukee, but they'll be without their starting point guard.
T.J. McConnell will miss Monday's game with a sprained right wrist suffered in Saturday night's loss to the Wizards in D.C.
McConnell reportedly did not travel with the team to Milwaukee and is back home in Philadelphia.
The 24-year-old McConnell has been a presence this season for a Sixers team that desperately needed something from the point guard spot. In 38 games this season, McConnell has averaged 4.8 points, 5.8 points and 4.8 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists a night in an average of 22.3 minutes a game.
The highlight of McConnell's season, of course, came last week when he nailed the game-winning shot at the buzzer to give the Sixers a 98-97 victory over the Knicks.
Sergio Rodriguez is expected to start in McConnell's place Monday against the Bucks.
Traveling to Milwaukee means a return to where Ersan Ilyasova began his NBA career.
Twelve years later, it also means a return to his family when the Sixers visit the Bucks on Monday afternoon at the Bradley Center.
Ilyasova planted roots in Milwaukee during his seven seasons with the Bucks, who drafted him in the second round of the 2005 NBA draft. Though he has played for four teams since the Bucks traded him to the Pistons in the summer of 2015, Ilyasova has maintained a home base in the city he adopted after coming to the NBA from Europe.
“I kind of grew up there,” he said. “It’s a lot of time spent.”
Ilyasova’s lengthy tenure with his first team - which doesn’t always happen in the NBA - afforded him and his family the time to make Milwaukee their home.
His wife and three young children (daughters ages eight and five years old and son age three years old) have remained there while Ilyasova has moved around the league frequently. He has been a member of the Pistons, Magic, Thunder and Sixers in a matter of two seasons.
“It’s a huge thing,” Ilyasova said. “I haven’t seen the girls for two months now - a lot of Skype and FaceTime. I see my son, he flies back and forth with my wife.”
The Sixers flew to Milwaukee on Sunday from Washington, D.C. after Saturday night's loss to the Wizards at the Verizon Center. Ilyasova planned to stay at his house and catch up on the time he has missed while being away from his family. This includes missed time during the holidays while the team was on a west coast road trip.
“It’s always really exciting,” Ilyasova said. “They’re counting the days when I will come. They’re all excited to come to the game.”
Another highlight of being back in Milwaukee? A home-cooked meal.
“They’re already preparing it,” Ilyasova said. “It’s duck with apples in it.”