August 30, 2007

Why Humber Should Get The Start Saturday

During his college years with the Rice Owls, Philip Humber, was a dominant pitcher for his three seasons. He was awarded the National Freshman Player of the Year award from Collegiate Baseball in 2002, as a freshman starter, when he posted an 11-1 record and a 2.78 ERA, while also leading the Owls, as well as the Western Athletic Conference with 130 strikeouts. In his final two seasons as the Owls’ staff Ace he posted a record of 11-3 with a 3.30 ERA (2003) and a 13-4 record with a 2.27 ERA (2004) and was honored with a “Philip Humber Day” in his home town Carthage, Texas. On top of all this he also holds the Rice single game record of 17 strike outs against Hawaii on March 20th, 2004.

All of these accolades earned Humber a spot in the first round of the First Year Player Draft in 2005 (third overall). The Yankees were actually the first team to select him back in 2001 in the twenty ninth round, but Humber chose not to sign and went on to pitch for Rice. After a lengthily hold out the Mets signed him with a 3.7 million dollar signing bonus.

The major blow to Humber and the Mets came in 2005, just 15 starts into his professional career with the A St. Lucie Mets (14 starts) and AA Binghamton Mets (1 start), when he left his last start in Binghamton after four innings, giving up three runs, and was diagnosed as needing Tommy John Surgery.

After more than a year on the sideline (377 days) recovering from the surgery, in 2006, Humber returned to pitch for the Gulf Coast Mets (1 start), St. Lucie Mets ( 7 starts) and Binghamton Mets (14 starts) to post a combined ERA of 2.83. Showing that Minor Leaguers who have to go through Tommy John surgery sometimes have an edge over their competition, in that they have to work on their off speed and secondary pitches while they can’t throw their fastball and even made his Major League debut with the Mets, after the September call ups, coming out of the bullpen to pitch a scoreless inning twice (0 hits, 2 strikeouts and 1 walk).

In 2007 Philip Humber received an invite to the Mets Spring Training to compete for the fifth starter’s slot in the rotation, but lost out to a dominating display by Mike Pelfrey. So instead, Philip was placed with the Mets AAA Affiliate New Orleans Zephyrs. In 25 starts for the Zephyrs, he is sporting an 11-9 record, a 4.27 ERA and 120 strike outs.

So, now that Brian Lawrence was designated for assignment by the Mets, there is a chance that we could be watching the first Major League start of Humber and not a moment too soon for him. The only downside to this story is that he would be fed to the lions as the Mets are scheduled to face Chipper Jones and the Atlanta Braves.


Anonymous said...

very good in depth look at phil but im not sure if hes readyfor a start

Anonymous said...

let the game decide man

Anonymous said...

let the kid pitch...i want to se what hes got

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

couldnt be worse than pelfrey