Monday, February 28, 2011

Tampa's Niemann makes first spring appearance on his birthday today

Jeff Niemann will try get back on track for the Tampa Rays when he makes his first start of the spring against Pittsburgh.

The big 6-9 lefty will be trying to regain the form that made him one of the American League's best pitchers through the first half of last season when he was 10-3 with a 3.12 ERA before going on the disabled list with a shoulder injury.

Niemann could never get his form back when he returned from the DL going 2-5 with a 9.82 ERA in eight games (7 starts.

Niemann has a little extra incentive to do well in his first appearance on the spring. The native of Houston, Texas, turns 28 today and would like nothing better than to celebrate his birthday with a good outing.

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