Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Niemann done in Tampa?
By Jason A. Churchill
Tampa Bay Rays right-hander Jeff Niemann has some labrum and rotator cuff "abnormalities," and is set for surgery Wednesday, likely ending his season, reported Bill Chastain Monday. Will Niemann ever again throw a pitch for the Rays?
Whether abnormalities means tears are present or not is irrelevant to the thought that he could be done as a Rays pitcher if he's truly to miss the rest of 2013. He's in the middle of his arbitration years and will accrue service time while on the disabled list, but will not qualify for free agency until after the 2014 season. If Niemann gets healthy again, the Rays could get a significant discount on Niemann, as he attempts to make the comeback, but they may not have room for such an arm with the young pitching on its way to The Show.
Right-hander Chris Archer is likely the first starting pitcher the Rays call up from the minors once they have a need, but right-hander Jake Odorizzi isn't far behind and lefty Mike Montgomery could also receive consideration this season. Enny Romero started this season at Double-A Montgomery. The former trio are Triple-A Durham and on the brink of the majors.