ESPN's Keith Law's Goes for the Jugular, Calls Rice's Wayne Graham a Pitcher Killer
Philip Humber was designated for assignment by the Astros yesterday. This came after his disastrous relief performance against the Rangers on Saturday night. And with that the feel good story about the Rice pitching star coming back to Houston to rejuvenate his career is over.
Are the Rice Owls to blame for Philip Humber's suckitude?
Humber, one of the aces of Rice's 2003 College World Series winning squad, never achieved the success in the majors that was projected of him. He was the number one draft choice of the New York Mets, the third pick in that year's draft, but not long afterwards broke down and battled injuries and ineffectiveness as he bounced around teams.
He threw a perfect game for the Chicago White Sox last season, but was released before the season was over. The Astros signed him in the off-season as part of their attempt to build a major league rotation on the cheap. He was perhaps the team's best picture for his first three starts, but then things fell apart and he never recovered.
It would probably end there, just another sad story of a hyped prospect who couldn't make it in the majors. But then ESPN's Keith Law weighed in on the matter yesterday. And according to Law, the fault lies with the Rice Owls and Wayne Graham. Humber never stood a chance because the Owls destroyed him, overusing him, blowing him out. And then Law doubled down, claiming the Owls ruined the careers of Jeff Niemann, Wade Townsend - the other aces of the 2003 team - and numerous other pitchers, including Austin Kubitza and John Simms, both members of this year's Rice squad and neither of whom appear to be breaking down.
Rice has disputed Law's contentions of pitcher overuse and abuse in the past, especially in regards to Humber. And they vehemently disagree with those allegations when it comes to Humber's alleged overuse coming out of the bullpen between starts, and Rice officials noted that Humber came out of the bullpen twice as a freshman, never as a sophomore, and five times as a junior, with only one of those five junior relief appearances coming less than three days after a start, and that coming during the regionals. Rice also disputes the overuse allegations when it comes to every other pitcher named by Law.
Humber also disagrees with the contention that Graham and Rice are responsible for his downfall. For his career as a major league stalling out and falling apart. Early last week, while having his perfect game celebrated by the Owls, Humber went on the record and said Rice had nothing to do with what happened.