Jeff Niemann SP TB Jan 18 '79

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times writes that right shoulder surgery for Jeff Niemann "remains likely."

Niemann is being re-evaluated Monday evening, and an announcement might not come until Tuesday. However, it's looking like surgery -- likely of the season-ending variety -- is probable. It's a blow to the depth of the Rays' rotation, but they have Chris Archer and Jake Odorizzi at Triple-A if Roberto Hernandez falters.

Jeff Niemann SP TB Jan 16 '79

Jeff Niemann will have his right shoulder re-evaluated on Monday.

The Rays will decide what next to do with the right-hander following Monday's exam. At this point, Niemann has been diagnosed only with right shoulder soreness.

Jeff Niemann SP TB Jan 05 '79

Jeff Niemann blanked the Blue Jays for six innings Wednesday, allowing just two hits.

Niemann's velocity was better today, which is something the Rays definitely wanted to see. The strong outing on the heels of Roberto Hernandez's poor one has definitely added some intrigue to the Rays' rotation competition. Of course, the guy we think is the best option, Chris Archer, is being stashed in Triple-A.

Jeff Niemann SP TB Dec 31 '78

Jeff Niemann surrendered five runs and 10 hits in six innings Friday in a loss to the Orioles.

Niemann likely dropped behind Roberto Hernandez in the rotation competition with the poor outing today. His velocity has been disappointing anyway, so maybe he'd be of more use in short stints out of the bullpen. A trade remains a possibility, too.

Jeff Niemann SP TB Dec 24 '78

Rays manager Joe Maddon said Friday that Jeff Niemann is not injured and he's not concerned about right hander's lack of velocity this spring.

Niemann's numbers -- 2.13 ERA, 9/3 K/BB ratio in 12 2/3 innings -- have been good, but his velocity has sat in the mid- to high-80s rather than the low-90s where it normally does. Maddon is convinced the pep on the big righty's fastball will pick up, but if it doesn't, it will certainly hurt his chances at beating out Roberto Hernandez for the fifth starter job.

Jeff Niemann SP TB Dec 23 '78

Jeff Niemann allowed one run in 4 1/3 innings Thursday in the Rays' 4-3 victory over the Orioles.

Niemann has a 2.13 ERA and a 9/3 K/BB ratio in 12 2/3 innings this spring. With Roberto Hernandez also pitching well and Chris Archer ready if needed, the Rays can and very possibly will move Niemann prior to Opening Day. Still, if they don't get an offer they like, they could keep Niemann as their fifth starter and stick Hernandez in the pen initially.

Jeff Niemann SP TB Dec 18 '78

Jeff Niemann limited the Phillies to one run in 3 2/3 innings in the Rays' 15-7 victory Saturday.

Ryan Howard's solo homer was the only damage. Niemann will almost surely be a part of some team's rotation next month, though he's expendable in St. Pete with Roberto Hernandez and Chris Archer around. He should have a little fantasy value in AL-only leagues.

Jeff Niemann SP TB Dec 13 '78

Jeff Niemann allowed one run in 2 2/3 innings to take a loss Monday against the Red Sox.

Niemann was pitching for the second time this spring after throwing two perfect innings his first time out. He'll probably be available in trade talks later this month if Roberto Hernandez and Chris Archer continue to impress. As is, he should probably still be considered the favorite to serve as the Rays' fifth starter.

Jeff Niemann SP TB Dec 04 '78

ESPN's Buster Olney reports that the Rockies have "checked in" with the Rays about Jeff Niemann.

Jeff Niemann SP TB Oct 29 '78

Rays avoided arbitration with RHP Jeff Niemann by agreeing to a one-year, $3 million contract.

Niemann was arbitration-eligible for the second time this winter after making $2.75 million in 2012. The big right-hander missed most of 2012 with a broken fibula and had to be shut down in September with a shoulder issue, but he's healthy now and is expected to be part of the Rays' 2013 rotation.