The professional road of Twins' pitcher Philip "not Phil" Humber has been paved with lament - and lofty pressure. Selected by the Mets as the #3 pick (and 2nd pitcher) in the 2004 amateur draft, Huber was acquired by the Twins last year as a piece of the Johan Santana trade. Humber has failed to live up to pro expectations at both stops, and the fact that Jered Weaver, Stephen Drew, Yovani Gallardo and '07 A.L. MVP Dustin Pedroia all were taken after him in the '04 draft has to sting.
Speaking of sting - that's pretty much what opposing batters do to the ball when Humber takes the hill. He's accrued a 28-27 record in parts of four minor league seasons, including a 10-8 mark with 4.56 ERA at AAA Rochester last year. This season, after making the club out of spring training, Humber is sporting a crazy 12.46 after two brutal relief performances (which followed two good ones); all told, however, in four appearances, he sports a WHIP (Walks/Hit per inning) of 3.23 - that good for 364th in the majors. Ouch.
From a roster standpoint, I don't see Humber sticking around too much longer. The problem for the club is that Humber is "out of options," meaning, in brief, that should they try to ship him back to the minors, he can be scooped up by any club based of his service time and previous movement through major/minor league levels. But the recent demotion of bullpen lefty Brian Duensing to make room for Scott Baker's return did not behoove Humber, as said bullpen is now down to one lefty in Craig Breslow. Down on the farm, Jose "Milkshake" Mijares has rapidly rebounded from his tubby spring, and the lefty has fast collected a stat line of: 5.1 inning pitches in four appearances; 1 hit; 0 runs; 0 walks. Nice. See you soon.
But not for Humber. Sure, fellow righty bullpen scrub Luis Ayala and his 7.36 ERA don't present an April fresh spring, either. But the club went out and signed him to $1.3 million for this year and may be more loathe to eat that money, as opposed to just letting the ineffective Humber go.
Over/Humber? I say come May 1st he's gone. Oh, and Philip: try "Phil" at your next rodeo; it's really less formal, bud.
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