03/25/2013 4:31 PM ET
Aumont a step ahead for final bullpen spot
By Todd Zolecki / MLB.com
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- This is a big week for Phillies right-hander Phillippe Aumont.
The Phillies must finalize their 25-man roster before Opening Day on Monday at Turner Field, and there are three jobs still available in the bullpen. Left-handers Jeremy Horst and Raul Valdes are front-runners for two of the jobs, which leaves Aumont and right-hander Mike Stutes competing for the final one.
Aumont seems to be ahead of Stutes at this point. He threw a perfect seventh inning on Monday in a 13-4 loss to the Blue Jays at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. He has a 2.84 ERA in six Grapefruit League appearances, allowing three hits, two runs, three walks and striking out five in 6 1/3 innings. Stutes, who missed most of last season with an injured right shoulder, has an 8.10 ERA in nine appearances, allowing 10 hits, nine runs, eight walks and striking out eight in 10 innings.
Stutes, Horst and Valdes are scheduled to pitch on Tuesday against the Rays at Bright House Field.
"Obviously, I still think about it that I could get called into the office," said Aumont, referring to a potential demotion to Triple-A Lehigh Valley. "They could be, 'Hey, you've got to work on some of your stuff in Triple-A.' Obviously, I'd be disappointed, but they're giving me the opportunity right now to work on stuff with them and to prove to them I can adjust and make improvements on the things they're telling me to do to get better."
Aumont seemed to make an adjustment Monday after struggling with his mechanics in his previous two appearances, when he allowed one hit, one run and three walks in 2 1/3 innings.
"I felt better," he said. "I felt much more comfortable."
"He looked a little bit better," added Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, who also said he can see himself mixing and matching Aumont and left-hander Antonio Bastardo in the seventh inning.
Aumont certainly is hoping to make the team. The Phillies view him as a future back-of-the-bullpen pitcher like closer Jonathan Papelbon and setup man Mike Adams. He would get the opportunity to learn from the best if he sticks around.
But he also said he won't be on pins and needles this week.
"I'm not going to sit on the edge," he said. "Obviously, I don't want to get sent down. I want to be part of the special team we're going to have this year. But I'm not going to sit on the edge. I'm going to keep working hard. If they think I can fit on there to go get a championship, that's great. If I have to work on some stuff and come later, then that's what it is."
Lannan hoping to move past dismal outing
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- The line did not look pretty for Phillies left-hander John Lannan on Monday at Florida Auto Exchange Park.
He allowed 12 runs on 14 hits, including two home runs, with one walk and two strikeouts in four innings.
"I made some good pitches, but most of the day I was up in the zone and they took advantage," he said. "I got my butt kicked and I've got to move on."
Lannan had a pretty good spring to this point, entering the afternoon with a 3.21 ERA in his first four starts.
"You've got to kind of look at it like getting it out of the way, I hope," he said.
Outfielder Young not expected back until May
DUNEDIN, Fla. -- Phillies outfielder Delmon Young is not expected to join the lineup until sometime before May 1.
So who is the third outfielder, if Ben Revere is in center and Domonic Brown is manning a corner spot?
"I'm looking for people that can get hot," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "It's kind of who's swinging good and who's hitting the ball."
That means John Mayberry Jr. or Laynce Nix, although the Phillies are searching for outfield help with less than a week to play before Opening Day.
Kendrick pitches in Minor League game
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Phillies right-hander Kyle Kendrick pitched in a Minor League game Monday at Carpenter Complex.
He allowed six hits, five runs, one walk, three home runs and struck out eight in six innings. He threw 91 pitches in windy conditions. Kendrick is scheduled to pitch the home opener April 5 against the Royals at Citizens Bank Park, although he has not formally been given the assignment.
"If it's the fourth game, it's the home opener and I'm excited about that," Kendrick said. "I've never had that before. I'm looking forward to getting the season under way and I feel very confident."
Regardless of when he pitches, he said he is ready.
"Honestly, with everything coming out of the spring, this is the best I've ever felt where I'm at with everything," Kendrick said. "I feel very comfortable with my stuff and who I am as a pitcher and where I'm at. I'm excited to get going, that's for sure."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.