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October 13, 2009 at 5:06 PM

Phillippe Aumont: “My hip was a problem…wasn’t that big of a deal

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As we look at another shot of Dustin Ackley, above, taking BP in Arizona today, a reminder not to forget Geoff Baker Live! coming up at 6:30 p.m.
There have been rumors the past few months that Phillippe Aumont was switched from a starting to a relief role by the Mariners because of a degenerative hip condition. I had a chance to ask him about it today and he set the record straight.
Yes, he’s had hip issues since he was an amateur ballplayer in Canada. But no, the condition is not degenerative. And the Mariners never told him the hip was why he was going to the bullpen. Aumont did tell me that other health concerns, like whether his arm would hold up as a starter, did come into play to a minor extent. He’d run out of gas a couple of times in 2008, given how amped-up he’d get on the mound.
“Nobody told me ‘You were put in the bullpen because of your hip’,” he said. “My hip was a problem. But it wasn’t that big of a deal. I still threw six, seven innings at a time. I just need to stretch and make sure, I’ve got to prepare for every start.”
Nowadays, starting is no longer an issue. Aumont said he had no major problems with his hip this past season and that even if discomfort flares up, he knows how to deal with it.
Click here to listen to all that he said about the hip issue.
Hope that clartifies things a bit. At least, from the way Aumont sees it. You can see where the hip story came from. After all, he admits in the interview he had MRIs done before being drafted. But that’s not the same as having a degenerative condition. So, we’ll see how things go from here.
For the record, the Mariners have always told me that health reasons were not a major factor behind the move. Even after the hip rumors surfaced. The team could not comment directly on any issue regarding Aumont’s health, given federal laws, but emphasized repeatedly that his skillset, size and demeanor on the mound were the biggest motivators behind the move.

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