Confident Humber happy with first outing

Sox starter Phil Humber recorded six ground outs on Monday. AP Photo/Mark Duncan

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Philip Humber entered this spring training experienced and confident, two things the right hander didn't necessarily have a year ago when he was trying to make a lasting impression on the coaching staff and was unsure of his role.

Now locked into the starting rotation this season, Humber said that this spring is about making a steady progression so he can build his arm strength to where it needs to be come the regular season. He considered his first outing of the spring a step in that direction. Humber allowed a hit and a run, struck out one and walked another in two quick innings in the White Sox's Cactus League opener against the Dodgers.

A good indication of how things went for Humber was that he had to throw a side session before his day was officially over.

"That's always a good sign for a starter," Humber said. "Early in the spring, how you rate your outings is if you have to go out there and finish up in the pen. It was a good day. I was happy with that. It was just a good start and now we can move onto the next one."

Humber, who said he wasn't told a pitch count, kept down in the strike zone as he recorded six ground outs.

"No doubt, you want to be down in the zone," he said. "At this point in spring training the hitters aren't where they're going to be so it's hard to tell with the way the ball comes off the bat sometimes. But I felt like I was down in the zone and at the end there I threw a breaking ball that did what I wanted it to do and for this early I'm happy with where I'm at."