Brian T. Smith of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Astros have designated Philip Humber for assignment. He’ll either be released or outrighted to Triple-A Oklahoma City if he clears waivers.
Humber opened the 2013 regular season in the Astros’ rotation but got demoted to the bullpen after seven disastrous starts. He wound up posting an 0-8 record, 9.59 ERA and 2.02 WHIP in 35 2/3 innings (seven starts, two relief appearances) with Houston.
The Astros signed right-handed reliever Edgar Gonzalez to fill the vacant roster spot. Gonzalez was designated for assignment last Thursday by the Blue Jays and elected to become a free agent.
Humber threw a perfect game for the White Sox on April 21, 2012, but he has been awful since.
Ricky Romero: human yo-yo:
He was clearly lost last year, yet the Jays didn’t send him down. He was lost this spring, so they sent him. Down. Then they called him back up after less than a month, and now he’s back to the minors.
He allowed three earned runs on four hits and two walks in a third of an inning last night. I guess a couple of good outings in the Florida State League weren’t quite enough to get him back to facing major league hitting.
Charlie Wilmoth of MLB Trade Rumors has a very good, thought-provoking article up today looking at how Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos has utilized baseball’s waiver system lately. Wilmoth points out that, since mid-March, the Jays have claimed Guillermo Moscoso, Todd Redmond, Alex Burnett, Clint Robinson, Edgar Gonzalez, Mauro Gomez, and Casper Wells. Of the seven, only Gonzalez has seen time at the Major League level with the Jays. Wilmoth also looks back to 2011, when the Pirates claimed Brian Jeroloman, then designated him for assignment three days later. The Jays claimed him two days later, then DFA’d him just the same after two weeks.
Wilmoth really hits the nail on the head here:
None of this qualifies as a tragedy, but it’s still an issue that should be corrected. For one thing, players are subjected to unnecessary periods of waiver limbo, in which they aren’t playing and aren’t sure where they’ll be headed next. Of course, these periods of time are part of being a ballplayer, but they should be limited whenever possible.
Take the case of Casper Wells. Wells isn’t a great player, but he posted 1.2 wins above replacement in 2012. He should be a Major Leaguer. But thanks to the waiver claims process, he has yet to appear in a professional game this season. The Mariners designated him for assignment March 31, and the Jays’ claim didn’t come through until ten days later. Then, five days after that, the Jays dropped Wells from their roster without him having appeared in a game for them, and he hasn’t yet resurfaced. The waiver wire has effectively kept Wells out of professional baseball for the better part of a month.
Wilmoth goes on to suggest that an easy fix would be to require teams keep a claimed player on its 40-man roster for 30 days. Sounds like a common-sense solution that would fix an issue before it becomes widespread. It is interesting that no other teams have utilized the waiver system in the way the Jays have lately.