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Phil Humber could lose spot in Astros rotation

May 6, 2013, 11:55 PM EDT

Houston Astros v Boston Red Sox Getty Images

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’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.

  1. duckthefodgers - May 7, 2013 at 12:06 AM

    Wait, an astros player is struggling this year?

  2. tuberippin - May 7, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    “Phil Humber could lose spot in Astros rotation”

    I believe you mean:

    “Phil Humber should lose spot in Astros rotation,” or perhaps:

    “Phil Humber next in line to lose spot on Astros,” since they already dumped Brad Peacock, Erik Bedard, Fernando Martinez, and Rick Ankiel.

    • stex52 - May 7, 2013 at 8:22 AM

      I can’t argue that he doesn’t deserve it. The whole signing was a desperation move. But someone has to go in his place. Lyles hasn’t found his consistency in the majors. Cosart isn’t ready. Pitching by committee has already been ruled out; it tears up arms and retards development of young players. Where do you go?

      In three years this may just be a bad dream. But don’t count me on the Luhnow bandwagon just yet.

      • tuberippin - May 7, 2013 at 1:23 PM

        I don’t know. Jordan Lyles wasn’t particularly good when he was in the majors, but at this point, can he really be any worse than Humber? I mean, Phil is just tossing batting practice on the mound and has been for a calendar year now.

      • stex52 - May 7, 2013 at 1:39 PM

        No, I don’t think Lyles would be worse. But I have to defer to their judgment on what is the best move for Lyles’s long term value to the franchise.

        I have not at all bought into their overall strategy of completing gutting the team to the level of AAA and promising everybody that there will be a “new, improved” Astros several years down the road. But I do assume that they still know how to assess where is a player is and what is the best way to utilize his particular talents. If I don’t buy that, then they really are hopeless.

        So, if they choose not to bring up, I will accept that is probably best for Lyles and the team. But it’s hard to see what they will do. I expect Cosart may be up first.

  3. timb12 - May 7, 2013 at 1:59 AM

    Nooo! Keep him in the rotation. I want the Astros to be historically bad. Then I can go to games with a paper bag over my head, which is the dream of every fan.

    • rollinghighwayblues - May 7, 2013 at 2:23 AM

      Keep the dream alive, my friend. Back in May 2010, my college roommate and I donned paper bags on our heads and got rewarded with a picture featuring us “embarrassed” fans in page C10 of the Sunday edition of the Houston Chronicle. We couldn’t pick a better game to bring paper bags; Matt Latos had more base hits than the entire Astros team going into 9th inning. I am not making this up.

      • cubfan531 - May 7, 2013 at 3:46 AM

        Found the box score. Fantastically awful performance by the ‘Stros that day.

  4. kelshannon19 - May 7, 2013 at 3:50 AM

    I second rollinghighwayblues. I happen to be the roommate and Latos has two doubles that night. astros didnt get second hit until the 9th when Kaz Matsui hit a triple i believe. Perfect game for bags.

  5. denny65 - May 7, 2013 at 4:31 AM

    I read stories like this and think my Mariners may not finish last in the AL West.


  6. pdowdy83 - May 7, 2013 at 8:53 AM

    “his 2013 ERA is the worst in the Majors”

    I misread that as 20.13 ERA. Not that far off sadly…

  7. coryfor3 - May 7, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    I’d the Astros have someone better to take your spot, there is really no where else to go.

  8. 13arod - May 7, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    the didn’t release those players tuberippin. some of them went to triple-A and some are on the bench or in te bullpen dummy

    • tuberippin - May 9, 2013 at 2:00 AM

      I didn’t say they released them. “Dumped” has several connotations. Ankiel got DFA’d, Bedard is getting a spot start out of the rotation, Martinez got DFA’d, and Peacock was also sent to the bullpen.

      Although if you’re getting DFA’d by the 2013 Astros you’re probably not getting picked up on DFA waivers anyway.

  9. scoocha - May 8, 2013 at 12:12 AM

    Ever since that terrible swing by the terrible Brendan Ryan, Humber’s numbers have fallen off a cliff. He’ll have to battle Dallas Braden for worst pitcher to throw a perfect game. Remember when every analyst said DB was going to be a star. Good call guys!

    • tuberippin - May 9, 2013 at 2:01 AM

      “Remember when every analyst said DB was going to be a star”

      Can’t say I remember that at all. Even on that Mother’s Day.

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