Phil Humber has apparently earned the right to not be considered a stop-gap measure... at least during the next two times through the rotation.
Instead of using Thursday’s off day to push back the No. 5 spot in the rotation, the White Sox will go ahead and keep the starters in line this time through.
That means Humber will open the three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels when he takes the mound Friday. That will be five games since his effective outing Saturday against the Tampa Bay Rays when he gave up one run on four hits over six innings.
Had the White Sox skipped the No. 5 spot this time, just as they did last week, Humber wouldn’t have been needed until April 19 at Tampa Bay.
Humber is getting a chance to start with Jake Peavy on the disabled list to rehab an injured latissimus dorsi muscle and tendinitis in his shoulder.
Not to be overlooked in the decision to start Humber on Friday is the fact that by pitching him that day it will now allow Edwin Jackson to pitch in the series against at Tampa Bay.
In three career starts against the Rays, Jackson is 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA. In his last two outings against his former team, Jackson threw a no-hitter last season as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks and then struck out 13 last week during the home opener.
Without the move to allow Humber to start Friday, Jackson would have pitched Sunday against the Angels and then would have missed the entire four-game series against the Rays from April 18-21.