White Sox’ Philip Humber set for second attempt at first start
BY TONI GINNETTI email@example.com April 15, 2012 8:52PM
Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers reacts to a pitch thrown close to his body in the fifth inning at U.S. Cellular Field Sunday, April 15, 2012, in Chicago. | John J. Kim~Sun-Times
ORIOLES AT SOX
The facts: 7:10 p.m., Ch. 26, 670-AM.
The pitchers: Jake Arrieta (1-0, 2.63 ERA) vs. Philip Humber (9-9, 3.75 ERA in 2011).
REST OF THE SERIES
Tuesday: 7:10 p.m., Ch. 26, 670-AM, 97.5-FM. Wei-Yin Chen (0-0, 3.18 ERA) vs. John Danks (1-1, 5.40 ERA).
Wednesday: 7:10 p.m., Comcast SportsNet,
670-AM. Tommy Hunter (1-0, 2.77 ERA) vs. Jake Peavy (1-0, 3.55 ERA).
Thursday: 1:10 p.m.,
670-AM. Jason Hammel (1-0, 2.08 ERA) vs. Gavin Floyd (1-1, 3.09 ERA).
Updated: May 17, 2012 8:11AM
Philip Humber’s season opens Monday night after his scheduled first start against the Cleveland Indians was rained out last Tuesday.
‘‘I threw a bullpen [side session] in Cleveland the day John [Danks] pitched [on April 11], so I treated it like that was my start,’’ he said. ‘‘I threw one two days later. It was the same routine. I just didn’t actually pitch in the game.’’
Humber pitched April 4 in a final exhibition game against the Houston Astros. He was 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA in four spring appearances. He finished the 2011 season at 9-9 with a 3.75 ERA, his season interrupted in August when he was struck in the right eye by a line drive off the bat of now-teammate Kosuke Fukudome. He missed more than two weeks on the disabled list. Humber had joined the rotation for good after the midseason trade of Edwin Jackson.
‘‘Last year [when] I had six, seven or eight days off in between, for whatever reason it doesn’t seem to affect me as far as being able to command the baseball, and that’s the only thing you worry about,’’ he said. ‘‘For some reason I’m able to still feel pretty comfortable, no matter how much rest I’ve had.’’
Manager Robin Ventura also doesn’t expect the long layoff to affect Humber.
‘‘I think he’ll be fine,’’ he said. ‘‘We’ll just let him pitch.’’
The Sox donned throwback uniforms from 1972 that they’ll wear for each Sunday home game. The red, pinstriped uniforms, caps, helmets and shoes are in vivid contrast to their normal gear.
‘‘You’re not used to seeing red when you walk in, so it’ll take getting used to,’’ Ventura said with a smile. ‘‘They’re actually nice.’’
The uniforms commemorate the team that finished 87-67 under manager Chuck Tanner in second place in the era of Bill Melton and Dick Allen.
Sunday also was Jackie Robinson Day, with every major-league player wearing Robinson’s No. 42 to honor the player who broke the color barrier in 1947.
Eduardo Escobar started at second base, but not because of Gordon Beckham’s hitting woes.
‘‘I don’t like guys sitting for two weeks at a time,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘It just seemed like a good day to get Escie in there, and [Fukudome] in there [in right field].’’
Escobar appeared in only nine games for the Sox last year, but Ventura saw him play at Class AAA Charlotte.
‘‘Even in spring training, he had great energy,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘From seeing him last year to this year, he’s just matured. He has a better approach to the plate. In spring training, when he was in games, stuff would happen. For me, that’s nice. He was doing a lot of positive things for the lineup, and defensively he showed he can play anywhere in the infield.’’
Ventura had Adam Dunn playing first base and Paul Konerko as the designated hitter.