Aumont is elbowed out

BOB ELLIOTT -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:07 AM ET

NEW YORK -- Towering over others as the World team picture was taken was a teenager who didn't throw a pitch in yesterday's Futures Game.

At 6-foot-7, Phillippe Aumont could have been standing on a bundle of New York Times Sunday editions.

Only one other player on the World squad -- Yankees' catcher farmhand Jesus Montero -- was listed over 6-foot-3.

With Aumont, 19, watching, the World side blanked Team USA -- the Olympic entry -- 3-0 yesterday at Yankee Stadium.

The Seattle Mariners' No. 1 pick in 2007 has been a tower of power for the class-A Wisconsin Timber Rattlers this season after receiving a $1.9- million US signing bonus. Aumont pitched in 12 games, making six starts, going 4-4 with a 2.62 earned run average. He walked 13 and struck out 43 in 442/3 innings, before hurting his elbow.

The injury cost him an inning at Yankee Stadium yesterday, but not the trip to the big ball park in the Bronx -- "on TV, the stadium looks so big, yet on the field, it's all over you, the seats are so close," he said -- and a spot on Team Canada's Olympic roster.

The Hull, Que., resident felt pain in his elbow on June 9 in a start at Burlington, Iowa.

"I felt something in my Tommy John ligament warming up," said Aumont, seated in the third-base dugout he one day will occupy as a member of the Mariners. "I was worried after popping something on my curve. It took my game away."

The next day, after allowing six runs in 12/3 innings, Aumont was shut down. Going into his final start Aumont had a 1.47 ERA. Aumont guesses he is two or three weeks away from returning to the rotation, but he will miss the Olympics.

"Seattle said that if I was healthy, I was going," Aumont said. "Now I'll be on a pitch count when I get back. They were very good letting me pitch for my country after the draft last year."

He might have been, as one scout said, the best pitcher on the field.

The Major League Scouting Bureau's report on Aumont, handed out to GMs and scouts yesterday, read like this:

"Imposing size, 93-94 m.p.h., fastball. Ball runs hard and down. Power breaking ball. Minor tweaks to delivery needed. Premium arm."

Aumont spent his signing bonus money on a Lincoln Navigator -- used, 2005 model. By players parking lot standards, it was a modest purchase.

"We might buy a condo in Arizona for spring training," said Aumont, who was selected 11th overall.

He'll have two roommates from Greg Hamilton's Canadian youth team: Righty Kyle Lotzkar of Tsawwassen, B.C., given a $594,000 bonus by the Cincinnati Reds, as the 53rd player chosen in 2007 and Brett Lawrie of Langley B.C., selected 16th over-all by the Milwaukee Brewers in June.

The Blue Jays signed California first baseman David Cooper, taken right after Lawrie at No. 17, to a $1.5-million bonus. Lawrie will sign by the Aug. 15 deadline, for slightly more.

The Casa Canada condo will have plenty of room. And pretty high standards.

"We travelled the world together," Aumont said. "Kyle and the Reds are moving to Goodyear, (Ariz.). Brett will be in Maryvale and the Mariners are in Peoria. We'll find some place equal distance to all three parks."

Aumont showed up yesterday wearing khaki shorts and a polo shirt with a collar.

"Some guys arrived in suits, I don't dress like a first -rounder," he said jokingly.

And there have been jokes on the Wisconsin bus.

The day after Rattlers pitching coach Jaime Navarro won the Kentucky Derby pool, players bought Navarro a fake winning lottery ticket.

"He scratched off $25, $50, $10,000, $10,000 with two spots remaining to scrape off the ticket," Aumont said. "Everyone on the bus knew about the gag. He was getting excited. Finally, he got the third -- $10,000. He jumped up yelling: 'Guys, guys, I got it! I got it!'

"We were laughing so hard we were crying. Finally, we told him and he threw the ticket on the floor of the bus."


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