Should you rush to get Philip Humber?
Once upon a time I owned Chicago White Sox right-hander Philip Humber in a dynasty league, when I thought he'd be a future No. 3 starter for the New York Mets. Then he was included in the memorable Johan Santana trade of February 2008, didn't pitch well at all in the Minnesota Twins' organization, was waived this offseason by both the Kansas City Royals and Oakland Athletics and seemed a White Sox afterthought this spring, the last guy to make the team, and only because of someone else's injury.
Of course, on Monday night Humber surprisingly held the New York Yankees hitless into the seventh inning, ultimately allowing one hit over seven innings and earning his second win of the season and fourth of his career. He's 28. Yeah, as colleague David Schoenfield noted in his overnight SweetSpot blog, things haven't quite worked out for Humber. But here he is taking the Jake Peavy rotation spot and in his four starts (he's appeared in relief twice) he's posted a 2.70 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 16 strikeouts in 23 1/3 innings.
"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. Last start he kind of got wild. We just focused on throwing strikes and he did with all four pitches, and keeping them off-balanced, getting ground balls and changing speeds. To navigate this lineup and to throw a shutout against this lineup is pretty impressive."
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