Playing A Little Pepper

Jeff Niemann was placed on the disabled list today and Brandon Gomes was called up to take his place. Is there any reason to think this is serious?

Niemann has what is being called “shoulder soreness.” He hasn’t pitched since Spring Training, and even then his velocity was down. For the last couple of years, his fastball has consistently been 91-92. But in March it was in the mid 80s. Another sign that the Rays have been worried for a while is that they initially assigned 13 pitchers to triple-A Durham when that club would normally only carry 12 pitchers. That suggests that the Rays were anticipating a DL-stint for Niemann and were just waiting to see if things got better with rest. And since things never got better, that suggests that there is something else going on besides just being “sore.” How long Niemann is out obviously depends on what exactly is going on. But at this point I would not be surprised if Niemann is on the DL for a long time…WE MIGHT NOT SEE THE GIRAFFE FOR A WHILE

Game Graph

[Will be up at game time]

Source: FanGraphs

Lineup…

  1. Flash Jennings, CF
  2. Sam Fuld, LF
  3. Ben Zobrist, RF
  4. Evan Longoria, 3B
  5. Matt Joyce, DH
  6. Yunel Escobar, SS
  7. James Loney, 1B
  8. Jose Lobaton, C
  9. Kelly Johnson, 2B
  10. Matt Moore, SP

 

 
 

7 Comments

  1. Ken says:

    I think most of us saw this coming. Tough for Niemann. For whatever reason he just can’t stay healthy. Gomes is a welcome addition and now Wright can be sent packing when Archer is ready.

  2. Dave L says:

    My prediction all along was that one of the six would end up on the DL before the season started whether he was injured for real or imagined. I was a week early I guess. And it appears to be for real? What evidence do we have other than his fastball velocity?

    I still expect Jeff to make at least 10 starts for the Rays in 2013. Just later in the year.

    With this news his trade value if there was any last week has gone to almost nothing.

  3. Gus says:

    Neiman was down at 90 last April per this fine publication, with a good history.

    http://www.raysindex.com/2012/04/jeff-niemann-fastball.html

    He was at 87 in his last spring start against Toronto — where he went 6 or 7 innings and allowed one run. Given that no Rays pitcher was at regular season velocity in the spring (except for Archer), I’d didn’t see this as a material variation (Rodney was only at 93-4 in that same game). Something serious could be up, or it could just be DL-faking. I find the timing — the day after Hernandez’s first start — to be curious. If he had a sore arm, they would have known that Sunday-Monday, when he would have thrown after his start on the 27th.

    Oh well, maybe this gets Gomes back on the team. They need him badly.

    • Dave L says:

      I just watched the Niemann interview Gus describing the ‘injury’

      Its totally bogus. He’s a horrible liar like Helli and DP last year.

      Its all part of the master plan. AF/JM/JH are enamored with Roberto and will ride him as long as they can.

      Like it or not Fausto is here to stay for now. I kinda like it, it can’t hurt IMO

      Well I hope it works.

    • Dave L says:

      And BTW Lou Gehrig reincarnate already hit a Grand Slam, still on fire

    • Bill says:

      I think it is DL faking too. Interesting that they announced it an hour before game time, but Gomes was already here in time to pitch. Could be something serious. Or it could just be that they want a pitcher who is pen ready for this road trip while giving Neimann some program to work on his pen preparation or something.

  4. Don says:

    Heard Niemann was already “tired” of warming up everyday because he might pitch, could have got to management as discontented? BUT How does DL and a supposed injury help The Rays move him?,guess he could be a”starter in waiting” on the DL list just in case…

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