Philip Humber threw a perfect game on April 21 of last year, but the degree to which he’s fallen apart since then is amazing.
Humber, who was claimed off waivers by the Astros from the White Sox in November, has thrown 111 innings and faced 523 batters since the perfect game. During that time he has a 7.52 ERA.
That includes a 7.39 ERA in 88 post-perfect game innings for the White Sox last season and a 7.99 ERA in 24 innings for the Astros this season. Humber has started five games for Houston, going 0-5 while allowing a league-high 21 runs and a .346 opponents’ batting average.
The obvious thing to say here is that Humber probably doesn’t belong in the big leagues right now, but I’m more fascinated by the whole situation and how a decent back-of-the-rotation starter can go from the peak of his professional career to immediately being completely unable to do his job.
Last month, free agent right-hander Bartolo Colon told reporters that he’d be open to taking a minor league deal in 2018, but only if he was guaranteed a return to the Mets’ system. The 44-year-old starter is nearing the end of a 20-year career, and it makes sense that he’d want to have one last hurrah in the city where he had some of his most productive years.
Now, Twins starter Ervin Santana tells Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press, it looks like the Mets might also be open to a reunion. It’s doubtful that Colon has all that much left in the tank, especially following a combined 7-14 record and 6.48 ERA for the Braves and Twins last year, but he’s not necessarily looking to reproduce the 15+ win, sub-4.00 ERA totals of years past.
Instead, Santana says, Colon is seeking the opportunity to win just six more games. He’ll enter the 2018 season five wins shy of the all-time record for a Latin American-born player, and is hoping to claim that title for himself before he enters retirement in 2019. Former Orioles and Expos hurler Dennis Martinez currently holds the record after clinching his 245th win back in 1998. While it took Colon a full season of starts to come up with even seven wins in 2017, he’s only one year removed from a 15-win campaign in 2016. Provided that the Mets are willing to gamble on him again, the milestone may not be that far out of reach.