TAMPA, Fla. -- Right-handed reliever Phillippe Aumont isn't worried about being at the top of his game when he pitches for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic -- the rush of representing his country will take care of that. But he also knows that he can't afford to wait until Opening Day to round into shape.
Aumont's real concern is the last week of March. As he put it, "That could be decision time." And for a player angling for a bullpen job like Aumont, that's the most important time to prove yourself.
"If I'm ready, if I'm doing good, then I've got the odds on my side," Aumont said.
So far, so good. Aumont threw another scoreless inning Friday against the Yankees, his second shutout Grapefruit League appearance.
"I'm getting there. It's still camp. I'm still not trying to be ready right now, but just trying to take it gradually throughout the spring," Aumont said. "I've got to be ready for the tournament. It's not the important stuff, but it's still the pride when you get on the field for your country and everything, the adrenaline will kick in. My priority's to come back healthy, be able to come in and get a job."
Aumont won't be around to pitch for Philadelphia the next few weeks, as he'll join the Canadian team in Arizona for workouts and exhibition games before the Classic begins. But he left a strong impression on the Phillies with the work he's done in camp and in two strong outings.
"He's got a chance to be really good," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said. "Might take him just a little while, but he'll improve as the season goes on. I think he's got a chance to be really special. ... When he's throwing strikes like he did today, that means he can use his split and stuff like that, yeah. Pretty good. He's very talented."
Aumont looked back Friday on how far he's come since last year. His confidence swelled when he made his Major League debut in August, and it only grew from there as he found some success against big league hitters. Since then, he's found a routine he could stick with, and he got an early start by throwing bullpen sessions three weeks before camp began this year.
Aumont thinks that's helped him pitch well so far this spring. But Manuel believes Aumont can develop even further, becoming a hard-throwing workhorse out of the bullpen.
"Every now and then, I want to see him get mad and see how much he's got," Manuel said. "Seriously. There's more in there."
Papelbon's ERA soaring, but Manuel not worried
TAMPA, Fla. -- Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon had his second rough outing in as many Grapefruit League appearances on Friday, giving up two runs on two hits and a walk in one inning against the Yankees at Steinbrenner Field.
But no, manager Charlie Manuel isn't pressing the panic button. It's still just Spring Training.
"I ain't worried about Pap," Manuel said. "Pap's fine."
Papelbon led off the fifth inning Friday by issuing a walk to Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli, then Robinson Cano reached on a single to center field. The next batter Papelbon faced, Minor Leaguer Addison Maruszak, knocked a double to left field to score both runners, and Papelbon's bloated Grapefruit League ERA temporarily rose from 81.00 to 108.00.
But Papelbon got out of the inning without any further damage, lowering that figure to 43.20. After inducing a line-drive out from Juan Rivera, an error by second baseman Kevin Frandsen put Melky Mesa on base. Papelbon then struck out Minor Leaguers Thomas Neal and Kyle Roller, both of whom went down swinging, to end the inning.
Galvis to get looks with Rollins in Classic
TAMPA, Fla. -- Phillies manager Charlie Manuel will be seeing a lot more of infielder Freddy Galvis in the near future, as he'll get the bulk of the starts at shortstop with Jimmy Rollins off to join Team USA in the World Baseball Classic on Saturday.
But Manuel already has seen plenty of combinations involving Rollins atop the order in Philadelphia's first seven Spring Training games.
Rollins, who hit a two-run double, batted leadoff in Friday's 10-5 win over the Yankees at Steinbrenner Field, followed by center fielder Ben Revere in the two hole. That was the second time Manuel has trotted out those two in that order, and he's done it in reverse -- Revere leading off, Rollins second -- one other time.
Manuel has seen Rollins in the leadoff spot three times, and he's seen Revere there three times. He said once again Friday that he likes having that kind of speed atop the order. But he's still not assigning roles on March 1.
"Our lineup will work itself out. We'll put the best lineup on the field and adjust it at times," Manuel said. "I think if you look at what we have, we're definitely going to have to make some adjustments. There will be different lineups."
• Domonic Brown, competing for a spot in the Phillies' outfield, drew three walks and scored twice in Friday's 10-5 win over the Yankees, continuing his strong start in Grapefruit League play. Brown is batting .385 with a .600 on-base percentage to go along with a double and two home runs and just one strikeout so far this spring. "Brown looks good to play," Manuel said. "I like the way Brown's [playing]. Brown's got good balance at the plate."
• Second baseman Chase Utley will not be in Saturday's lineup against the Blue Jays in Dunedin, Fla., Manuel said. But first baseman Ryan Howard will be. Saturday will mark Howard's eighth straight day in the starting lineup. He went 0-for-3 with a strikeout Friday.