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.
Kyle Schwarber broke into the bigs in 2015 with a big bat. After missing almost all of the last season with an injury, he reemerged as a postseason hero, posting a .971 OPS in the World Series. As 2017 began he was supposed to be one of the key parts of a potent Cubs offense.
Then the baseball games actually started and he has hit a mere .171/.295/.378. Indeed, he has the lowest batting average among qualified MLB hitters in 2017. Given that he has very little if any defensive value, he has been a significant drag on the Cubs, who are just a single game over .500.
The Cubs are also putting Jason Heyward on the disabled list, so the outfield is a bit of a mess these days. Lucky for them, they’re only trailing the Brewers by a game and a half.
A surprising move out of Oakland: the Athletics have designated catcher Stephen Vogt for assignment.
Vogt is suffering through a bad season at the plate, hitting .217/.287/.357, so on the basis of pure performance it’s understandable that the A’s may want to part ways with the 32-year-old former All-Star. That said, Vogt is considered to be a leader in the Oakland clubhouse and is one of the last players remaining from the A’s 2013-14 playoff teams.
Catcher Bruce Maxwell has been recalled from Triple-A to take Vogt’s place on the roster. Main catching duties will belong to Josh Phegley.