Tampa Bay Rays Give Jeff Niemann A Last Chance In 2013

By Devin O'Barr
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Rays are giving Jeff Neimann a one-year $3M contract for the 2013 season, granting Neimann a second chance after an injury-plagued 2012 campaign that put him on the shelf for all but eight starts. Rarely do MLB players get an opportunity after disappointing in a contract year; however, the Rays signing Neimann to this one-year deal may work out perfectly.

Niemann didn’t pitch poorly last season as he finished with a career-low 3.08 ERA but pitching in just eight games, he was not a factor for a Rays team that could’ve used some help in the rotation. It was not mechanics that led to Niemann’s initial injury, as he broke his leg on a line drive to his right leg, which can simply be chalked up to bad luck. Coming back on September 1st Niemann had hoped to finish the season strong but, shoulder issues ended his season for good.

With James Shields being shipped to the Kansas City Royals earlier this off-season, the Rays will lean on Niemann even more in 2013 and have to hope he stays healthy. The Rays rotation remains one of the league’s best with reigning Cy Young award winner David Price as their ace, a pair of young guns in Matt Moore and Jeremy Hellickson who are only getting better with each start.

Neimann will be looked upon to shore up the back-end of the rotation as the Rays must shut down an AL East division with some of the scariest offenses in the league.

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