Niemann sharp in intrasquad game start
While the rest of the Rays enjoyed their only off day of the spring, RHP Jeff Niemann was back at work on the back fields at Charlotte Sports Park Monday, starting in a minor league intrasquad game.
And Niemann looked very sharp, throwing five scoreless innings, giving up just two hits while striking out six and walking one. In the 62-pitch outing, Niemann said he felt really good, and tried to pitch the way he would during the season, like mixing in a 3-2 curveball to strike out a hitter.
“Throwing that 3-2 curveball is something you’re going to do during the season, so you might as well do it now,” Niemann said. “The first few times out, I kind of held the curveball back a little bit. But now we’re getting to the point where we kind of need to be game-ready, and get everything honed and sharp. That’s what we were doing today, throwing some stuff that those guys probably weren’t used to seeing.”