ST PETERSBURG, FL - APRIL 30: Pitcher Jeff Niemann #34 of the Tampa Bay Rays watches his team against the Kansas City Royals during the game at Tropicana Field on April 30, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
The staff recently had a rather long email exchange about Jeff Niemann to discuss an article that never came together. Instead of scrapping the work, we thought we would share the discussion with you all.
Hahmann: Trying to flesh something out an idea on Niemann. Whats his worth to the Rays and to other teams if he can't get past this 75 pitch wall? Also, whats it do to his career.
Thoughts on that?
Collette: a mid-level prospect at best.
In other words: The remainder of the starting rotation is good enough to allow for a caddie situation. Also, the Rays have made this an option year for Brandon Gomes, Alex Cobb, and a few others, giving them enough flexibility to keep things moving as needed.
In this case, I think Maddon will play the matchups, rather than just assigning a caddie. Funny, because it's challenging the idea of a back of the rotation guy as an innings eater. Maybe he can, but you don't want him to.
- Do we know if it is a consistent problem - start over start - or are there some games that he really gets touched up and others that he doesn't?
- Do we know if he suddenly has problems vs handness later in the game?
- Does his pitch selection change as he works later and later in a game?
- Does the curveball lose its bite? Is this the pitch (or is their a pitch) that leads to the HR problem?