TBOH’s Extremely Rational 2012 Phillies Round Table, Part 2

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Which young reliever would you like to have a breakout season just as Michael Stutes and Antonio Bastardo did in 2011?

Justin:  Justin De Fratus, barring any further body-things.

It’d be nice to have somebody homegrown making a difference at the back end of the bullpen to counterweight the big offseason acquisition.  I hope he doesn’t mind wearing Ryan’s number and us calling him “Ryan” and accidentally giving him Madson’s jersey to wear and putting him in our phones as “Mad Dog” and calling him in the middle of the night “just to see if he’s still there,” because if he ever left, we “don’t know what we would do.”

Ricco:  I like to think that Phillippe Aumont will be that guy. He’s got some filthy stuff and by far the coolest name in the farm system.  [EDITOR’S NOTE: He’s also a giant, who would grind your bones to make his bread if you were against him in any way.]

Stolnis:  I know the popular answer is Phillippe Aumont right now, because his stuff is simply electric. But with Dontrelle Willis gone, I think Jake Diekman will be the guy this year.

He probably won’t start the season in Philadelphia, but I think he could be with the Phils by May or June, and with his side-winding delivery, could be a nightmare for left-handed hitters. He’s looked terrific so far this spring, and who doesn’t love a side-arming lefty? Plus, Rich Dubee has a man crush on him, which definitely plays in his favor.

Ethan:  Sure, it’s the dental school of pitching, but everyone needs clean teeth.

After great deliberation, my choice for breakout bullpen stud is Phillipe Aumont. As bad as he was in 2010, his numbers last year (split AA-AAA) were freakishly good. A 13.1 SO/9 ratio isn’t too shabby for a young pitcher, and it was even higher when he arrived in Lehigh Valley. So far this spring he has shown no ill signs from his disastrous first season with the Phils.

Steadily clocked in the high 90’s, Amount’s got the arm that gives scouts wet dreams. He won’t start the season in Philadelphia so that he can continue to get regular work, and make AAA hitters look silly. Aumont can get a little wild at times, but isn’t a 96 mph fastball more intimidating if you don’t know where its going?

Once Jose Contreras or one of the other Phillies bullpen arms goes down management will be hard pressed not to give Aumont his much-deserved opportunity. Charlie can be slow to trust young pitchers in pressure situations at first (see Stutes and Bastardo last year), but expect to see Aumont in big games come August.