Niemann says no cause for concern
UPDATE, 10:18: Manager Joe Maddon also said there was no concern of injury and he expected Niemann to be back to his usual velocity.
DEVELOPING: RHP Jeff Niemann said his shoulder feels good today - like he didn't even pitch Thursday - and there shouldn't be any concern about strength and overall health.
He did say the drop in velocity - he was throwing mostly 85-86 mph and topped out at 88 mph - was the result of the "dead arm" phase of the spring. Typically he gets into the low 90s.
"There's point of the spring where you have that dead arm phase, and we've been here going on five weeks now, been here for a while, its been a longer spring than normal, it's about that time for that to happen,'' Niemann said. "I'm still effective, I'm still getting guys out. That's something you can definitely take away, our balls are doing something, I'm pitching, I'm putting up sequences that work well and all that kind of stuff.''
Niemann said he considered this Thursday outing similar to what happens during the regular season when a pitcher doesn't have his best stuff but figures out a way to win.
"That's what we're going to have to do during the season so let's do it now,'' he said.