Jeff Niemann to the DL; Brandon Gomes Promoted | The Process Report

Jeff Niemann to the DL; Brandon Gomes Promoted

When Roberto Hernandez beat Jeff Niemann out for a rotation spot I wrote this:

Portraying the Hernandez-Niemann decision as a choice between upside maximization and risk minimization feels off. It implies Niemann’s beta is low, which is a stretch due to a lengthy injury history that includes the holy trinity of pitcher sore spots: elbow, back, and shoulder. Additionally—or perhaps because of those injuries—Niemann’s velocity has been in the mid-to-upper-80s. Niemann does own a superior statistical track record, however, it’s fair to wonder whether Niemann and his reduced arm strength would be able to replicate those results. It’s also fair to wonder if Niemann, who was shut down with a shoulder issue last September, will ever recover his velocity.

How’s this for an ominous sign: Niemann will make his first trip to the disabled list this season before throwing his first regular-season pitch, according to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune. The cause? Shoulder soreness.

In Niemann’s place the Rays have recalled Brandon Gomes, whom some felt should have made the opening day roster. Consider this a point in favor of the Rays’ decision to keep Wright over Gomes. Had they let Wright walk this would be someone lower on the totem pole getting the call.

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