PHILADELPHIA -- Phillippe Aumont had plenty of opportunities to join the Phillies this season, but every time they needed a relief pitcher from Triple-A Lehigh Valley somebody else got the call.
Michael Schwimer, Jake Diekman, Raul Valdes, Joe Savery, Jeremy Horst, B.J. Rosenberg and Brian Sanches all got calls to the big leagues ahead of Aumont, whom the Phillies acquired from the Seattle Mariners in December 2009 for Cliff Lee. There are a few reasons for that, but in Aumont's case a lack of command certainly has been a factor. He has averaged 6.9 walks per nine innings with a 4.26 ERA in 41 appearances with the IronPigs.
But with Horst taking paternity leave Monday -- he is expected back Wednesday -- Aumont, ranked by MLB.com as the Phillies' No. 7 prospect, finally got his chance when he was called up for the first time Monday night.
"Those are things I can't really control," Aumont said of his long wait for a promotion. "I was excited for those guys. They deserved it. They pitched well. It was their turn. I knew I still had to work on some stuff. Every day, keep going to work, just grinding. Whenever I get the call I get the call, and that would be the day I had a big smile on my face."
Aumont has electric stuff, when he throws it for strikes. That is evident in his 34 hits allowed and 59 strikeouts in 44 1/3 innings and his 34 walks.
"Some nights it's just not working for me," Aumont said. "I'd walk a guy or two or three an inning. Obviously the results aren't fun. But the next day it was about taking the positive out of it and leaving the negative out and just go from there."
Said Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee: "Something's got to jump-start him. He saw enough guys go by him. Hopefully this will ignite him."
Phillies improving, but Manuel seeks consistency
PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies entered Tuesday's game against the Reds with a 20-15 mark since the All-Star break, which ranks fifth in the National League.
They are 12-8 (.600) since the July 31 Trade Deadline, which is fourth in the league.
Phillies manager Charlie Manuel points to the healthy returns of Roy Halladay, Chase Utley and Ryan Howard for some of that. The bullpen also has pitched a bit better, and they have gotten big contributions from Erik Kratz and Kevin Frandsen while Carlos Ruiz and Placido Polanco have been on the disabled list.
But Manuel isn't prepared to say this team has what it takes to win in 2013 based on one good month.
"Baseball is consistency," he said. "Sometimes one good month doesn't make a good year. Two weeks don't make a good year. Definitely one day doesn't. I get excited when I see somebody do something real good, but can they do it on a consistent basis?"
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.