On Friday the Minnesota Twins designated RHP-Philip Humber for assignment and claimed RHP-Juan Morillo off waivers from the Colorado Rockies.
Philip Humber (12/21/82)
Humber struggled in spring training for the Twins, but was out of options and made the major league roster. In spring training he pitched 14.1 innings giving up 19 hits, 12 earned runs, 2 walks and struck out 9. Unfortunately, his regular season results were even worse than his spring results. This season he pitched 4.1 innings giving up 11 hits, 6 earned runs, 3 walks and struck out four. Humber has never been able to recapture his pre-Tommy John surgery form. Prior to his surgery in 2005 Humber had front line starter potential. It was that potential that made him the Mets 1st round pick, 3rd overall, in the 2004 draft out of Rice University.
Based on his 2009 spring and regular season results, it is entirely possible he will clear waivers and end up with remaining in the organization at Triple-A Rochester. Still only 26, there is still hope Humber could carve out a nice career as a middle reliever and spot starter in the major leagues.
Juan Morillo (11/5/83)
Morillo is only 25 and defines the term fireballer. He is capable of throwing his fastball 100+ mph and has been clocked as high as 103 mph. He typically throws the heater in the upper 90s, but it is very straight at that velocity. The big problem for Morillo has been control. Throwing 100 mph does little good if you can’t control it. He also throws a slider and a changeup which are both inconsistent. In 634 minor league innings he has posted a 4.51 ERA, 1.58 WHIP and 8.26 SO/9.
Colorado has not been known for developing pitchers, so a change of scenery and a legitimate ML pitching guru could be all he needs to get his career on track. Claiming Morillo and putting him on the major league roster is a gamble, but letting Humber remain on the major league roster would have been a mistake. Whether it is addition by subtraction by removing Humber from the roster, or they have found a hidden gem in Morillo, this is a very good move by the Twins. Their bullpen desperately needed more raw talent and strikeout ability and they made the move to bring some in. There is no doubt that he has a major league arm, but it remains to be seen if he can develop a semblance of major league control.
Morillo pitched his first inning as a Twin in tonight’s game and gave up 1 hit, no runs and struck out 1.