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Waiver Wire Gem: Philip Humber

On Monday night, Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Phillip Humber held the Yankees hitless until the 7th inning.

Philip Humber

Philip Humber

Humber, once a third round draft pick, was dealt in the February 2008 deal that sent Johan Santana to the Mets.  He didn’t pitch very well for the Twins and was waived by two teams, the A’s and the Royals, this off-season.  The Pale Hose picked up Humber as somewhat of an after-thought.

As for now, Humber is the starting pitcher replacement for Jake Peavy.  ”We said when Peavy went down, Phil has great stuff,” catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. “There’s a reason he was the overall third pick, and he can do it. He’s just got to throw strikes and believe in himself. Every start he’s been good.”

Was the Yankees start a fluke?  Humber pitched 7 innings against the Orioles tonight and gave up just 3 hits and a walk while yielding 2 runs.  In Humber’s 6 starts, he has now given up less than 2 runs in 5 of them.  No fluke.

On the year, Phillip Humber has 2 wins and 3 losses and has been given dismal support by his team.  Humber has an ERA of 3.06 with an impressive 0.96 WHIP and is holding opponents to a .189 batting average.

Humber’s future, however, may be limited with the much needed return of Jake Peavy to the White Sox starting rotation.  White Sox starter Jake Peavy made another rehab appearance on Friday, pitching 5 2/3 strong innings for Triple-A Charlotte. Peavy allowed seven hits and three runs, but struck out eight batters while throwing 85 pitches, 62 for strikes.  He will pitch in Double-A Birmingham on Wednesday and could make a start for the White Sox on May 10.

So, where does that leave Humber?  Edwin Jackson has been the poorest of the White Sox starters with an ERA of 5.86.  Jackson, however, is not going to get bumped from the rotation and the trio of Mark Buehrle, John Danks, and Gavin Floyd are firmly entrenched.

It looks like Philip Humber, despite his impressive success, will be moving back to the bullpen after May 10.  Humber is still worth a free agent pickup, however, as he’ll face the lowly Mariners this weekend at spacious Safeco Field.

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