Tag: Philip Humber

Houston Astros v Boston Red Sox

Astros decline $3 million option on Philip Humber


Philip Humber turned a strong spring training into a job with the Astros, but then went 0-8 with a 7.90 ERA in 55 innings split between the rotation and bullpen. Not surprisingly the Astros have decided to decline his $3 million option for next season, giving him a $500,000 buyout that makes him a free agent.

It seems like a distant memory now, but Humber threw a perfect game on April 21, 2012. Since then he’s been perhaps the worst pitcher in baseball, throwing 142 innings with a 7.59 ERA while being let go by the White Sox and Astros.

And now at age 30 there’s a decent chance he’ll never pitch in the big leagues again.

Astros claim Raul Valdes, Indians claim Tyler Cloyd

raul valdes getty

The Phillies performed a 40-man roster cleanup on Wednesday afternoon and two of the players that were removed have landed with new organizations.

Raul Valdes, a left-handed reliever who posted a 7.46 ERA in 35 innings this season for Philadelphia, has been claimed by the Astros and Tyler Cloyd, a 26-year-old starting pitcher who had a 6.56 ERA in 60 1/3 innings this year with Philly, has been picked up by the Indians. You can expect more minor moves like this throughout the month of October. These players are not eligible for postseason rosters.

Some other notable transactions from Wednesday: the Astros added first base prospect Jonathan Singleton to their 40-man roster and officially declined Philip Humber’s $3 million club option for the 2014 season.

Yusmeiro Petit so far from and so close to perfection

Yusmeiro Petit, Eric Chavez

Yusmeiro Petit was one pitch away from what might have been the most unlikely perfect game of all-time. Inches really. The 2-2 pitch to Eric Chavez easily could have been called a strike in a typical situation, even without the help overzealous umpires sometimes give in no-hitter situations.

Then Hunter Pence came up just short on Eric Chavez’s liner. In any ballpark besides AT&T Park, it would have been more likely to be an out. Because of the depth and the angle of the wall in right, right fielders in AT&T cheat more towards center than anywhere else. Pence made his best effort to come up with the ball; if he had been shaded one or two steps to his left, he may have gotten it.

As is, Philip Humber is probably the weakest pitcher to throw a perfect game, but his feat last April came against a pretty awful Mariners lineup. And considering that he had a fine 3.75 ERA in the year before his perfect game, he was certainly held in higher regard then than Petit is.

Because of injuries, Dallas Braden hasn’t done much at all since his perfect game in 2010, but he was a fine pitcher while healthy. Len Barker, who pitched his perfect game in 1981, is known now as a free agent bust, but he led the AL in strikeouts in both 1980 and 1981. Charlie Robertson, who threw the second perfect game after 1900, finished up his career 49-80 and probably ranks next in line after Humber.

I’m still going with Petit, though. The one-time Mets prospect entered the night 12-20 with a 5.37 ERA as a major leaguer. In eight seasons in Triple-A, he was 31-32 with a 4,36 ERA. Two years ago, he pitched in the Mexican League.

And his near perfect game came against a team that’s had playoff aspirations for most of the year. The Diamondbacks entered the night fifth in the NL in runs scored.

But there was Petit setting them all down quickly with his high-80s fastball. He threw just 95 pitches in the game.  I can’t speak for the whole contest, but for those last two innings, all of those pitches ended up right where he wanted them to. With a little more luck, he would have entered the record books as just the 22nd pitcher since 1900 to achieve perfection. He didn’t get there, but he took a big step towards accomplishing another goal: achieving a spot in the Giants’ 2014 rotation.

Astros designate Philip Humber for assignment

philip humber getty

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.

Phil Humber could lose spot in Astros rotation

Houston Astros v Boston Red Sox

Phil Humber the 21st perfect game in baseball history on April 21 against the Seattle Mariners last year, and it’s been all downhill ever since. The once-prized prospect in the New York Mets system has logged a 7.79 ERA since the perfecto over 121.1 innings. At 8.82, his 2013 ERA is the worst in the Majors, even outpacing the ineffective, injured Roy Halladay, who today went on the disabled list with an 8.65 ERA.

Humber’s poor performance over seven starts (all losses) has put his rotation spot in jeopardy. Via MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart:

Luhnow acknowledged that the club also talked about the status of struggling starting pitcher Philip Humber, who has a 16.20 ERA in his last four starts. The Astros have already bumped Brad Peacock and Erik Bedard from the rotation since the start of the season, and Humber’s status remains unclear.

“That’s really a decision Bo needs to make, and I’m sure he’ll make it at the appropriate time,” Luhnow said. “We believe Humber is a Major League pitcher and can add value to our team. For now, no decision has been made about any different roles on the pitching side at this point.”

Now 30 years old, Humber is running out of time and opportunities to prove himself. His last sustained run of pitching came in 2011 with the White Sox, when he finished with a 3.75 ERA in 163 innings.