|Not So Ho-Humber||Tweet|
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|Written by Dan Snyder|
|Sunday, 22 April 2012 14:36|
On Saturday, Philip Humber tossed the 21st perfect game in baseball history. So what do we make of the White Sox’ righty?
Humber was a pleasant surprise last year, posting a 3.75 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 28 games (26 starts). Howeer, his successful 2011 was frontloaded; he took a 3.10 ERA and 1.06 WHIP into the All-Star break, but in the second half he had a 5.01 ERA and 1.40 WHIP and went 1-4 in his last 10 starts.
His 2.26 BB/9 last year was impressive, but with a weak 6.64 K/9 he seemed more like the guy we saw in the second half of 2011 rather than the first half fantasy darling. I tinkered with his projections, going back and forth before settling on a good bit of regression. The numbers that made it into Dobber’s 2012 Guide: 168 IP, 4.27 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 121 K.
He’s obviously out-performing those numbers through two starts. He tallied nine strikeouts against the Mariners on Saturday, something he managed just once last season, in his 26th and final start. He also allowed ten flyballs; that’s a dangerous way to go about business, but there’s no better place in the AL to do that than SAFECO Field, against a team slugging just .348 on the season.
Some PitchFx observations (disclaimer: wicked-small sample size):
He’s added a full mph to his fastball. If you look at his velocity chart for this year and last, you’ll see that he gradually increased velocity last year and seems to have picked up right where he left off.
He’s throwing more sliders, using the pitch 28.6% of the time this year vs 13.6% last year. White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper is credited with suggesting that Humber replace his cut fastball with a slider last year, and it seems to be paying off.
Not exactly a PitchFx stat, but only teammate Gavin Floyd has a higher swinging-strike% than Humber among AL starters. In fact, all five White Sox starters are among the 16 starters who have a SwStr% over 11.0%; pretty remarkable.
Humber was owned in under 5% of ESPN leagues yesterday, but that number will jump well into double-digits this week (he’s already 29% owned in Yahoo! leagues). Keep in mind that his first two starts have come against Baltimore and Seattle; even with Ellsbury going down I’m not sure I’d start him against Boston on Thursday. His next start comes at home against Boston, and after that he’s lined up to get back-to-back starts against Cleveland, a team that’s scored more runs that Boston. I want to see how he navigates these next few starts before jumping on the bandwagon.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 April 2012 06:50|