PEORIA, Ariz. -- The Spring Training goal for Phil Humber remains the same as it did back on February 17: break camp with the White Sox.
Even with Jake Peavy temporarily shut down due to discomfort from rotator cuff tendinitis and Humber sliding into his Thursday start, that focus hasn't changed.
"I'm starting Thursday and that's the only thing I can worry about right now," Humber said. "I can't worry about when Jake is coming back or this or that. Every opportunity you get, you have to run with it. Hopefully I've shown them enough for them to have confidence in me. I know I have confidence in myself.
"There's no more pressure. I'm trying to make a good impression every time I'm out there. There's still work to be done and I'm not taking anything for granted. I'm trying to go out there and earn it every day."
Humber talked Sunday with pitching coach Don Cooper, who laid out the current scenario for the right-hander. With Peavy almost certain to start the 2011 regular season on the disabled list, the fifth-starter's job is there for the taking for Humber.
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A strong Spring Training by Humber has been enhanced by the development of a cutter. Cooper discussed with Humber adding the pitch during the offseason, and Humber seems most satisfied by the consistency of the pitch as opposed to being able to find success on one or two offerings.
"It has definitely been huge for me, being able to put more movement on my fastball," Humber said. "I've gotten a lot of easy outs on it. When you get in tough counts, it's nice to have something to throw in there that stays off the fat part of the bat. That's what it has been for me."
The game Thursday will be nationally televised and is against the Cubs, but the pressure isn't any different for Humber as compared to any other outing this spring.
"That will be good for the people back in East Texas," said Humber of the ESPN telecast reaching his hometown of Carthage, Texas. "They can watch me a bit. And it's against the Cubs, so I'm sure there will be a lot of people there. It will be fun."