Stuck with Humber

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - It's safe to say the sell-high ship has sailed for Philip Humber owners, which likely left most of us standing on the shores of Lake Michigan staring longingly beyond the horizon.

Since throwing the 21st perfect game in Major League Baseball history on April 21, the 29-year-old Humber has been utterly imperfect on the mound, giving up 20 earned runs in 13 1/3 innings over three starts. In that span, his WHIP is a nauseating 2.40, as he's allowed 32 base runners.

Unless Humber is able to throw another perfect game, his fantasy value is never going to be higher than it was on April 21 at 7:30 p.m. ET, shortly after the 27th out was recorded. And, let's face it, with only 21 games of that type in more than 100 MLB seasons, the odds aren't really on his side.

The thing is, Humber didn't even give us a chance to shop him as the next great fantasy star, because it took one start for him to come crashing back to earth -- April 26 against Boston, when the Red Sox tagged him for nine runs in five innings.

It's only gotten worse since then, hitting rock bottom last week when Humber couldn't even make it out of the third, giving up eight runs on nine hits over 2 1/3 innings to the Cleveland Indians.

And now, we're stuck with him.

You're not going to drop a guy a mere two weeks after he completed one of the most difficult single-game feats in baseball.

It was different for Armando Galarraga owners when the righty tossed his one- hit shutout that should have been a perfect game in June 2010.

The Detroit Tigers righty was coming off of a 6-10, 5.64 ERA season in 2009 and had missed all of April before making three appearances prior to June 2, so he was entirely droppable after he started turning in below-average results.

Humber went 9-9 with a 3.75 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 28 games (26 starts) last season, and he gave up one run while striking out seven in his first start of the season, so he has a track record of recent success prior to the perfecto.

Still, what we really needed was one or two more dominant starts from Humber to erase some of the doubts other owners might have had, and he couldn't deliver it.

Now his trade value is actually lower than it was prior to the perfect game.

For those stuck between a rock and a hard place with the White Sox starter, the only positive we can offer is that his next three scheduled turns in the rotation are against the Kansas City Royals, Chicago Cubs and Minnesota Twins, each of whom is in the bottom 11 in MLB in runs scored.

However, as the saying goes, "Even a blind squirrel finds a nut every now and then," so if Humber continues to toe the rubber with his hittable stuff, even the league's worst offenses may greet him unkindly.

We'd recommend leaving him on the bench until he proves he can keep people off the base paths consistently.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas J. Harrigan at

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