Philip Humber was a mess following his perfect game on April 21, posting a 7.47 ERA in 10 starts before the White Sox finally shut him down with a strained elbow in mid-June.
Now he’s on the verge of returning from the disabled list, throwing six innings of shutout, two-hit ball last night at Double-A in his third minor-league rehab start.
Humber struck out five, walked zero, and set down the final 16 hitters he faced, looking good enough that Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports that he could be cleared to rejoin the White Sox’s rotation as soon as Tuesday versus the Red Sox, in Boston.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.