Niemann very encouraged by progress of bruised right shoulder
Rays right-hander Jeff Niemann tested his bruised right shoulder today, playing catch at Tropicana Field, and said he felt better than he thought he would.
"It felt a lot better today," he said. "Today was the best marked improvement I’ve felt over the course of the two days. It's good, I was able to move it around, get the blood flowing."
Though Niemann didn't throw it 100-percent, he said he was very encouraged. "If I keep making progress like that, I should be fine for that next start" Tuesday in Baltimore.
The real test will be a bullpen session Sunday, which will go a long way in deciding whether Niemann will make his next start. If not. manager Joe Maddon said they'd likely use long man RHP Andy Sonnanstine, who isn't going to throw today (since he threw 54 pitches two nights ago).
Niemann was pulled from Thursday's start after getting hit by a line drive from Orioles 3B Miguel Tejada.