Jake Peavy's return on Wednesday night expanded the White Sox rotation to a six-man crew, which nobody seems to mind.
"Having Jake Peavy in the rotation is a positive no matter how you look at it,'' said Philip Humber, whose stellar performance as the fifth man when Peavy was out put the six-man into use. "That's good for us. All the starters, the guys I have to talked to, say the extra day of rest makes you feel a little stronger so it's definitely a positive.''
With today's off-day, Humber will start on six days rest when he faces the Washington Nationals on Sunday. He has gone seven innings or more in his last six starts and nine of his last 10. With 90 innings, he's on pace to approach the 200-mark. Having never thrown more than 139 innings in a season (as a minor leaguer in 2007), the extra rest has value for Humber as well as Peavy and veteran Mark Buehrle.
Humber is 6-3 with a 2.90 ERA. At $500,000, his bargain-of-the-year salary is 1/32nd of Peavy's $16 million. His money pitch to some degree is his newest one, a slider he added with the help of pitching Don Cooper while he fighting to win a spot on the roster during spring training.
"I always felt my curve ball was good enough, that I didn't need another breaking ball,'' Humber said. "I had always heard if you go to a slider, you lose your curve ball. But at this point in my career I was willing to try anything. It's been big for me to have that fourth pitch as a swing-and-miss pitch, or just a strike pitch to give hitters a different look.''
Peavy started against the Cubs in the rubber game of a three-game series at U.S. Cellular Field. He was activated from the disabled list before the game (groin strain).