The plan for a six-man rotation was devised two weeks ago principally to give first year starter Chris Sale extra time off for a tired arm. It also would help rookie Jose Quintana and veteran Jake Peavy as he returned to a full season following lat surgery.
But with Sale starting again Monday and the final weeks of the pennant race ahead, the White Sox have decided to go back to their five-man squad, moving Philip Humber to the bullpen.
“Havng Phil in the bullpen, you have the flexibility of someone who could [spot] start any time,” manager Robin Ventura said Monday. “If you need a major league arm, he’s got it.”
Ventura said the plan originally was to give Sale extra time off, though apparently not long term. “Now you’ll find out if it actually works,” Ventura said.
He said moving Humber to the bullpen also helps the relief corps which had been stretched in the last week with only six pitchers.
“They’ve been a little short since the Minnesota series [a week earlier] so it’s nice to get another guy in there to help,” he said.
Humber took the move in stride.
“I’ve been through a lot of ups and downs in my career, but that prepares you,” said Humber, whose season already has included a perfect game to time on the disabled list with an elbow flexor strain. “This season already has had ups and downs, but ‘m thankful for the opportunity in the bullpen as much as starting. It”s been a tough year but also an awesome year for the team.”
Ventura said all the pitchers are kept aware of moves through the season so none are taken by surprise. “We talk to them all the time. They all want to pitch. Phil does too, but this is where we’re at.”