Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

Humber finding his place as member of 'pen

HOUSTON -- Astros right-hander Philip Humber pitched 3 1/3 innings in relief Friday night for the Astros, allowing two hits and one run against Seattle. It was his most impressive outing since being recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City Aug. 13.

Humber began the season in the Houston rotation. He made seven starts and lost every one of them with a sky-high ERA.

"He had a great Spring Training," manager Bo Porter said. "He was one of our best five pitchers. It just didn't go too well in the rotation. He went down to Triple-A and was able to find himself, and find his mechanics. He's come back and pitched OK out of the bullpen."

Humber pitched as a starter and reliever at Oklahoma City.

"I knew I had to go work on stuff," he said of his stint in the Minors. "Obviously, after last year and the beginning of this year, I was going to have to make some adjustments. I was having trouble with left-handed hitters. I had to figure what I could do different. I wasn't getting much better results [in Triple-A] than here. That took a little patience."

Humber, 30, said he doesn't worry too much about his future, whether it's in the rotation or in the bullpen.

"I'm past looking at it like that," he said. "I try to make the best of every day. I feel the Lord has a plan for me, whether it's baseball or something else."

Porter said he still believes in Humber.

"As time goes by, whether he pitches out of the bullpen or in the rotation, he definitely has a career in the Major Leagues," Porter said. "It all depends on what role he's going to end up at."

Humber pitched a perfect game for the Chicago White Sox April 21, 2012, but the rest of the season did not go well. He finished the year 5-5 with a 6.44 ERA and spent some time in the Minors.

"Up here, they get a book on you and they know early what you're trying to do," he said.

Including stints with the Mets, Twins and Royals, Humber has pitched as many games in relief as a starter in the Major Leagues. He said he actually enjoys pitching out of the bullpen.

"I feel good out there," he said. "Every day there's a chance you can be in there. It's definitely different. I have the type of arm that responds well to that. I typically don't need a lot of rest.

"The guys I've seen who have succeeded for a long time as relievers are just like starters. They have a routine. I do the same thing every day."

Gene Duffey is a contributor to
Read More: Houston Astros, Philip Humber