Notes: Humber settles in with Mets

Notes: Humber settles in with Mets

NEW YORK -- Philip Humber has a Major League locker and a New York Mets uniform at Shea Stadium, though he admits it hasn't all set in just yet.

But as Pedro Martinez told the 23-year-old right-hander, "It's all official now."

Humber was among a group of Minor Leaguers promoted to New York this week, summoned from Double-A Binghamton of the Eastern League after the B-Mets' season concluded Monday with a doubleheader split at Connecticut.

Following Tuesday's rainout, Humber said he was looking forward to watching his first two games in a big-league uniform on Wednesday.

"Just driving up to Shea, I hadn't seen the stadium since I signed," Humber said. "It was a cool feeling. I started to feel the butterflies when I walked in. Most of the guys I know from Spring Training, but it was really cool just walking in here and having a locker with my name on it.

"The uniforms are a lot more comfortable than what I'm used to. It was cool. I don't know if I can really describe it. It's something that I've waited a long time for."

Humber was the Mets' first-round selection in the June 2003 First-Year Player Draft out of Rice University, where he was a dominant starter over his three collegiate seasons.

His promotion to the Major Leagues came partly as recognition of his hard work returning from reconstructive right elbow surgery, which cut short his first professional season in July 2005.

Humber returned to mound action in late June this season, making seven starts for the Class A St. Lucie Mets of the Florida State League before being promoted to Binghamton, where he was 2-2 with a 2.88 ERA in six starts.

Mets manager Willie Randolph said he has high hopes for Humber.

"I've said before that I liked this kid," Randolph said. "He's made a nice adjustment from his surgery, and in my bones, I feel like he's going to be a sleeper. That's the way I feel. I've been impressed with his work ethic."

Randolph couldn't promise that Humber would see much -- if any -- mound time this season, although he said the right-hander could get into a game at some point this month.

"I'd like to see him pitch," Randolph said. "I think he's excited about being here. I'm sure that before he goes home, he'd like to see how it feels to be on the bump."

Humber is slated to pitch in the Arizona Fall League after the season and could wind up in the Spring Training mix for 2007. For now, Humber is just hoping to make his big-league appearance truly official.

"[Randolph] told me to stay ready," Humber said. "I don't know how much I'd get to pitch, or if I will at all, but I'll stay ready. I'd love to get my debut in and get my feet wet a little bit."

Back in the lineup: Carlos Beltran (bruised left knee) returned to action in the second game of Wednesday's doubleheader. The center fielder walked in his first at-bat, stole second and scored on Julio Franco's single.

Beltran hurt his knee crashing into the outfield wall at Houston's Minute Maid Park on Saturday while completing a game-saving catch in the ninth inning. Beltran went for X-rays and an MRI exam in the days that followed, with no structural damage reported.

Left fielder Cliff Floyd (sore left Achilles) was back in the lineup for Game 2 as well. In Game 1, Michael Tucker started in left field while Endy Chavez got the nod in center field.

Honored to be nominated: Carlos Delgado said there was "double meaning" in his being selected as the Mets' 2006 recipient of the Roberto Clemente Award, recognizing players who exemplify the game through sportsmanship, community involvement and positive contributions to their teams.

Delgado is now eligible to win the national 2006 Roberto Clemente Award, which will be selected from among the 30 nominees representing each Major League club.

"I think it's pretty cool for me," Delgado said. "I'm Puerto Rican and he's an icon in Puerto Rico, where he represents both on the field and off the field. It's a great honor. I don't want to compare myself by any means to him, but I'm in a fortunate position where I can help others. It gives me a lot of satisfaction and a lot of joy."

Delgado wears No. 21 to honor the late Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder. He selected the number when he was first promoted to the Toronto Blue Jays, but yielded it to Roger Clemens in favor of No. 25. This season with the Mets, Kaz Matsui wore No. 25, so Delgado took the opportunity to return to his original -- and Clemente's -- number.

Still, Delgado said he agreed with those who have suggested Major League Baseball should universally retire Clemente's number, as was done in 1997 with Jackie Robinson's No. 42.

"I think Clemente represents an icon, a person who opened a lot of doors for his community," Delgado said. "For us, that was crucial. I don't know if it's going to happen or not, but if they ask me, they'll get my vote. I'll be the first one to take that jersey off my back."

Pedro update: Pedro Martinez reported just "normal soreness" one day after throwing 65 pitches in his bullpen session on Tuesday.

On the disabled list with a sore right calf, Martinez's timetable is still in question, though he nodded when asked if he expected to throw in simulated game conditions on Thursday.

All set: Randolph said he didn't believe the Mets would promote any other players in September, other than right-hander Mike Pelfrey, who was to be promoted Tuesday but reported to the Mets' Spring Training complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla., instead to have a minor back issue checked out.

Coming up: After Wednesday's doubleheader, the Mets welcome the Los Angeles Dodgers to town for a four-game series beginning on Thursday. Tom Glavine (12-6, 4.13) is scheduled to pitch for New York opposite the Dodgers' Brad Penny (15-7, 3.97). First pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. ET.

Bryan Hoch is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.