Jason Hammel Unimpressive In Bid To Lock 5th Spot

It may or may not matter, but Jason Hammel did not help his case to become the fifth starter today. In what could've been a potential job clincher, Hammel gave up four runs in four innings on six hits including four extra base hits. One of those was a double by opposing pitcher Zach Duke and another was a triple to Eric Hinske.

The improved control that I have been raving about shown by Hammel this spring failed to show today.  Coming into the game Hammel had just three walks in 16 innings, giving me hope that his control issues were starting to be put behind him. However, after today's performance I'm a little uneasy about that. Hammel walked five batters in those four innings and struck out just two.

In a sign that the competition is a little more open than we though, Jeff Niemann will make the start for the Rays on Wednesday night. Niemann has made five appearances this spring, but only two of them as a starter. He will need a really good outing on Wednesday to erase the awful appearance he had against the Blue Jays.

Adam Kennedy played short stop today for the first time this spring. Kennedy started his minor league career as a short stop, but has just one game in the majors at that position. This could be another sign that Joe Maddon is leaning towards keeping Kennedy to fill B.J. Upton's vacated roster spot. If Kennedy is able to back up shortstop, this would allow Ben Zobrist to move full-time to centerfield in Upton's absence.

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