Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Jeff Niemann Rookie of the Year?????
The Tampa Rays hoped beginning the season one of their starting pitchers would have a chance to win the A.L. Rookie of the Year award. What they did not know was that pitchers name would be Jeff Niemann. Most people believed David Price was a ROY candidate coming off his strong '08 post season performance. It only seemed logical that he would continue his success and have a shot at the AL ROY trophy. Poor control and high pitch counts have kept the "Price from being Right" most of his rookie campaign.
While Price struggled, Jeff Niemann is quietly putting together a very solid rookie year. He threw a gem of a game tonight against the Baltimore O's to push his record to 11-5. He went 7 1/3 innings tonight giving up only a solo shot to Brian Roberts before being pulled. He gave up seven hits and had 5 K's. He lowered his ERA to 3.71, and got his eleventh win, both tops on the Rays staff. Niemann has be arguably the best starter for the Rays this year.
His ERA and BAA are both in the top 20 of all AL pitchers, he has 2 complete game shutouts, and 81 Ks. He is now 6-1 since June 16th.
Niemann was the Rays first pick in the 2004 draft, fourth overall. He made his major league debut on April 13, 2008 against the Baltimore O's. Niemann was out of options starting spring training this year so the Rays were forced to give him a starting spot to keep him from being exposed to waivers. Sometimes having your hand forced can be a good thing, especially if you are the Rays!
There are some other great looking Rookies this year, Brett Anderson LHP of Oak, Elvis Andrus SS Texas, Brad Bergesen RHP Bal, Gordon Beckham 3B Chi, Matt Wieters C Bal, Andrew Bailey RHP Oak, Rick Porcello RHP Det, Ricky Romero LHP Toronto, but if by some miracle the Rays can catch Texas and Boston and win the AL Wild Card I look for Tampa to have their second American League Rookie of the Year!
Go over to the EBAY and pick up a couple of Niemann rookie cards while you can: