By Bob Elliott
The ink was barely dry on the Baseball Canada 24-man roster release when a question mark arose.
With ace lefty Cole Hamels nursing a slight hamstring injury, Hamels will be scratched from Friday night’s start against the Miami Marlins.
Taking his place is right-hander Phillippe Aumont of Gatineau, Que.
Aumont was expected to be one of Canada’s power arms in Pan Am Games which begin July 11 in Ajax. The Games are for players not on the 40-man rosters of major league teams and for those whose parent clubs give them permission to play.
After 45 relief appearances with the Phillies, Aumont was promoted from triple-A Lehigh Valley for the spot start.
But what happens next?
Does Hamels go back into the rotation or will the lefty be dealt for prospects?
Will Aumont be removed from the 40-man and returned to triple-A again?
Baseball Canada is taking a wait-and-see approach before looking for a replacement.
Aumont was clocked at 93-94 MPH on Sunday as part of a combined 2-0 shut out against the Norfolk Tides. Aumont worked 5 2/3 innings allowing three singles, a double, five walks as and nine strike outs in his 106-pitch outing, his 10th start of the season.
He’s now 3-4 with a 2.35 ERA in 14 games walking 41 and striking out 58 in 65 innings.
A first-round pick (11th overall) of the Seattle Mariners and scouts Wayne Norton and Bob Engle in 2007 he was dealt to the Phillies Dec. 16, 2009 with Tyson Gillies and J.C. Ramirez for lefty Cliff Lee.
He made his Phillies debut Aug. 23, 2012, pitching in 18 games, worked in 22 games in 2013 and five games last season as he split the seasons between Citizen Bank Park and triple-A.
When he was demoted at the end of this spring he considered quitting.
Canada opens against the Dominican Republic July 11, after Colombia plays Cuba and Team USA meets Puerto Rico.