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Hammel, Niemann pitch, still in limbo

5

April

RHPs Jason Hammel and RHPs Jeff Niemann said they're still playing the waiting game.

The two candidates for the Rays fifth starter job each pitched in a minor league intrasquad game Sunday morning, and said they left the field still not knowing their fates.

There's been speculation Hammel will get traded to the Rockies, and a Rockies scout was in the stands to watch the right-hander throw Sunday.

"I haven't heard anything," Hammel said. "It's been pretty rough actually. I'm just trying to not think about it. We're just taking it in stride."

By 3 p.m., when the roster must be finalized, both will know. They're just going to wait by the phone.

Hammel said it kind of sunk in Saturday night that these six innings today could be his last in a Rays uniform.

"I'll throw strikes for whatever color," Hammel said. "Whatever happens, happens...“Its been a pleasure here. I'm not saying I'm gone. But they’ve given me a lot of opportunities. Sometimes it is what it is.

"I hope to be starting wherever I'm going. That's what I've always been doing and that's what I want to do. I think i stated a pretty good case this spring. I'm healthy, can't really ask for anything else."

Niemann's unofficial line was six innings, giving up four runs on nine hits. Hammel threw six innings, giving up four runs on four hits.
"It's been crazy," Niemann said. "I think we’ve done a pretty good job of keeping it fun. Making kind of a game out of it for us. Just tyring to enjoy it. So we'll see."

- JOE SMITH

joesmith@sptimes.com

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:45am]

    

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