Results tagged ‘ Philip Humber ’
Astros pitcher Philip Humber, who was told Wednesday by manager Bo Porter he was being moved from the rotation to the bullpen, was disappointed but understands the team’s decision. Humber is 0-7 with an 8.82 ERA in seven starts, including a 16.20 ERA in his last four starts after a solid start.
“It’s fine with me,” he said “To me, I’m looking at it as an opportunity to take a step back and there are some things I need to get better at. It will give me a chance to work on that and help the team however I can.”
Humber took advantage of Monday’s day off to meet with Rice University coach Wayne Graham, who won his only College World Series title when Humber pitched a complete game in the title game against Stanford 10 years ago.
“A lot of things he told me were the same things these guys told me, and I guess I was in a different frame of mind and more open to suggestions,” he said. “I’ve been kind of down on myself. I didn’t think my stuff was very good this year and kind of focused on that, rather than really just making pitches down the zone. My stuff’s going to get better, but right now it is what it is. Whatever your stuff is, if you’re throwing it up in the strike zone, it’s going to get hit hard. That’s what I want to get better at is locating all my pitches so I can get guys out. That’s the main thing.”
Humber made 10 relief appearances last year after the White Sox moved him out the starting rotation, so he’s no stranger to what needs to be done out of the bullpen.
“For me it’s a matter of getting right and getting more opportunities to get in there,” he said. “I need to get better. That’s the main things, that’s what I’m focused on, where ever I’m at — rotation or bullpen. I’ve got to pitch better and I’m not satisfied with what I’ve done so far, so I’ll keep working at it.”
Astros manager Bo Porter said Wednesday left-hander Dallas Keuchel will start Friday’s series opener against the Rangers, with fellow southpaw Erik Bedard moving back into the rotation to throw Saturday’s game. Meanwhile, struggling right-hander Philip Humber has been moved to the bullpen.
“We’re just trying to go with the guys that give us the best opportunity at this time,” Porter said.
Keuchel is 0-1 with a 4.96 ERA in six relief appearances, so Friday will mark his first start of 2013. He made 16 starts for the Astros last year and was 3-8 with a 5.27 ERA, including a complete-game win over Cleveland on June 23.
“One of the things you look at, the Rangers’ lineup it’s left-handed dominant and they have some left-handed guys in their lineup, and we felt like if we can get both of our lefties matched up against them it would put us in good position,” Porter said. “Dallas has done a tremendous job out of the bullpen and he’s given us length every time he’s come into the game, and we’re going to give him an opportunity to get into the rotation.”
Bedard made five starts before being moved to the bullpen and now finds himself back in the rotation. He’s 0-2 with a 9.98 ERA as a starter this year, but in two relief appearances has allowed three hits and one run in 6 1/3 innings.
“The competition we have for these spots is a fluid situation and it wasn’t a competition that was going to end in Spring Training,” Porter said. “I made that perfectly clear to the guys then. Obviously, moves like this kind of reiterate that to them and we’re going to try to go with the hot hand and go with the guys that give us the best opportunity to win ballgames.”
Humber got off to a nice start for Houston and had a 2.89 ERA in three starts, but he was 0-3 after the Astros didn’t score any runs in any of those starts. But he’s 0-4 with a 16.20 ERA in four starts since.
“I talked to Humber and told him the same thing we told Bedard when we sent him down there,” Porter said. “I said, ‘It’s going to be a situation you are built up and you’ve seen the long guys go down there and have success, like Keuchel, and end up back in the rotation.’ Bedard went down to the bullpen and did a tremendous job last time out and he’s going into the rotation. It’s a fluid situation we will continue to monitor and this competition will continue to go on.”
Bedard will pitch at Pittsburgh the following weekend, Porter said.
What happened: Jordan Lyles gave up 10 hits and six runs, including homers to Melky Cabrera and Jose Bautista, as the Blue Jays outslugged the Astros, 10-6, who got homers from outfielder Brandon Barnes and catcher Jason Castro (boxscore).
What we learned: C Jason Castro isn’t putting too much stock into his torrid start this spring. Castro went 2-for-3 with a homer and is hitting .462 this spring with five homers and 11 RBIs.
“It’s really just a bonus,” he said. “Right now, it’s about seeing pitches and getting at-bats, repetition and my timing down and all the stuff for the regular season. I’m happy where I’m at. I feel good and the results are taking care of themselves. If it were going the other way, I’d pretty much say the same thing. Right now, that’s the biggest thing, is getting in the work to open up on March 31.”
Astros manager Bo Porter thought he knew what he was getting in Castro after watching game tape from last year — his first season since missing all of 2011 following knee surgery — but what he saw this spring was a different player.
“I got to Spring Training and saw him in batting practice the first couple of days and said, ‘That looks a lot different,’” he said. “You can tell by the way he’s blocking the ball, the way he’s swinging the bat, he’s healthy and has his legs underneath him. He’s doing a great job.”
What we learned II: 2B Jose Altuve is ready for the start of the season. Altuve continues to be about as steady as anyone in the game, going 3-for-4 with three singles on Tuesday to raise his spring batting average to .356.
“I was talking with Marwin [Gonzalez] about this,” he said. “I feel really good, feel 100 percent right now. I wish we were starting the season tomorrow. Like everyone, I’m really excited about going to the American League and playing hard and winning some games.”
What else: Porter was pleased with LF Chris Carter, who went 2-for-3 and is hitting .267. Carter pulled a fastball down the left-field for a double in the third and hit a 2-2 slider to right field in the fifth for a single. … The Astros were 4-for-7 with runners in scoring position. … Another scoreless inning by RHP Chia-Jen Lo lowered his ERA to 2.35.
What went wrong: Lyles gave up 10 hits and six runs and hit a batter in 3 2/3 innings. Porter said he wants him to pitch down the zone more next time out. … RHP John Ely pitched two innings and surrendered homers to Josh Thole and Ryan Langerhans. … The normally steady Matt Dominguez made an error at 3B.
What they said: “If you look up baseball player in the dictionary, you’ll see a picture of Jose Altuve. He’s just a baseball player.” — Astros manager Bo Porter on his All-Star second baseman.
What’s next: The Astros return to Osceola County Stadium on Wednesday to face the Mets at 5:05 p.m. CT. RHP Alex White, who’s battling for a spot in the starting rotation, will get the start for Houston. White, acquired from the Rockies in a December trade, has pitched in four games this spring, allowing eight earned runs in 10 1/3 innings.
Who’s injured: OF Fernando Martinez (lower back tightness) is day-to-day.
Tweet of the day:
Links of the day: Astros notebook has tons of information, including Bo Porter’s thoughts on the DH, Trevor Crowe’s mindset entering final days of camp and much, much more.
Astros pitcher Philip Humber, who appears to be a near lock to grab a spot in the starting rotation to begin the year, threw a simulated game at the team’s Minor League complex on Monday morning. He threw 73 pitches over four innings with manager Bo Porter, pitching coach Doug Brocail and bullpen coach Dennis Martinez watching.
“The ball was coming out of my hand good today and my breaking ball was better than it has been,” Humber said. “I felt good about that. It was a good day of work.
“I feel like I’m where I need to be. I can’t ask for things to have gone any better. I feel healthy and I’m excited about the season.”
Seeing that Rice University was set to honor Philip Humber on Thursday with a commemorative plaque for the perfect game he threw last year as a member of the White Sox, Astros manager Bo Porter decided to honor the right-hander as well.
The Astros toasted Humber in the clubhouse prior to Thursday’s workout at Osceola County Stadium with glasses of sparkling cider. Porter even arranged for Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who was behind the plate when Humber threw the perfect game April 21 against the Mariners, to be on the phone from Arizona to lead the toast.
“Obviously, it’s quite an honor and it’s special when you’re able to accomplish pinnacles in this game,” Porter said. “We’re grateful to have Philip Humber in our organization and get him over from the White Sox, but we wanted to acknowledge him today.”
Humber threw the 21st player in Major League history to throw a perfect game last year. There were two more perfect games thrown during the season by San Francisco’s Matt Cain, who sent 27 Astros down in order June 13, and Seattle’s Felix Hernandez. Dennis Martinez, who threw the 13th perfect game in history 1991 for Montreal, is the Astros’ bullpen coach.
“We’re lucky enough to have two people in our clubhouse in Dennis Martinez and Philip Humber that have accomplished that feat,” Porter said.
Porter was grateful for Pierzynski to accommodate the ceremony by getting on the phone at 7 a.m. MT.
“I talked to him this morning and the timing worked perfect and he was able to get on the phone,” Porter said. “He led the toast and we toasted Philip and it was fun for the group.”
Other things we learned Thursday morning:
- You have noticed on the photos the Astros don’t have their names on their backs this spring. That’s by design. Manager Bo Porter wants them to earn their names, which will be placed on the jerseys on Opening Day. More on that later.
- In an effort to try to establish some camaraderie in the clubhouse, Porter is going to start having food delivered to the clubhouse following each workout. He hopes that will encourage players to sit around and talk and get to know each other more.
- Position players continue to trickle into Kissimmee. Former first-round Draft picks George Springer and Delino DeShields Jr. arrived to camp on Thursday. This will be their second Major League camp, and the two friends are roommates again this year. Catcher Carlos Perez, who was held up on visa issues, could arrive Thursday, too.
- The Astros have added Minor League catcher Ryan McCurdy to their spring roster as another body to catch bullpens. He will wear No. 98.
Here are a couple of quick morning photos from Kissimmee:
Philip Humber, the former Rice University star pitcher who threw a perfect game last season for the White Sox, was claimed off waivers Friday by the Astros, who signed him to a one-year deal with a club option for 2014.
Humber, 29, went 5-5 with a 6.44 ERA in 26 games (16 starts) for Chicago and is expected to battle for one of the final two spots in the Astros’ pitching rotation. He lives with his family in Tyler, Texas, which is 175 miles north of Houston. Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow delivered the news to Humber via phone earlier in the day.
“It’s really exciting, more so for my family than anything,” Humber told MLB.com. “The places I’ve played before, they haven’t been able to see me but a little bit, but I’ll be right up the road no now in Houston. So we’re excited about it. My wife and I have a little baby and it will make it easier on them as far as traveling and everything. I think it’s going to be a good situation.”
The proximity to his home is a bonus, but a move to the Astros comes with plenty of opportunity as they prepare to move into the American League in 2013.
“As far as the way things went last year – there were obviously some extreme highs and getting hurt and not pitching the way I was capable of – I’m excited about the opportunity to get back out there and prove I’m capable of being a good Major League pitcher,” he said.
In 80 career Major League appearances (44 starts), Humber is 16-15 with a 4.87 ERA.
Prior to his professional career, Humber had an outstanding career at Rice. He was a member of the Owls 2003 national championship team, hurling a complete-game in the championship game vs. Stanford. Humber also earned First-Team All-America honors in 2004 and currently ranks second in school history in strikeouts and third in wins.
More from Humber to come at Astros.com
Philip Humber, the former Rice star who last season pitched a perfect game for the Chicago White Sox, was claimed off waivers by the Astros on Friday.
Humber, 29, went 5-5 with a 6.44 ERA in 26 games (16 starts) for the White Sox last season, but etched him name in history on April 21 when he threw the 21st perfect game in Major League Baseball history – two months before Matt Cain threw a perfect game against the Astros.
But Humber struggled after his perfect game and wound up pitching only twice in September. The third overall pick in the 2004 Draft, Humber is 16-15 with a 4.87 ERA in 80 career games, including 44 as a starter. He was 9-9 with a 3.75 ERA in 28 games for the While Sox in 2011.
Humber threw a complete game to beat Stanford in the 2003 championship game of the College World Series to give Rice its only national title.