Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Joe Maddon On Jeff Niemann

Jeff NiemannMarc Lancaster has this from Joe Maddon on Jeff Niemann:
Manager Joe Maddon said Tuesday that in a relief role, Niemann likely would be used initially in the same way J.P. Howell was early last season. Howell served mainly as a long reliever early on but earned the right to pitch in tighter situations late in the game based on his performance. Maddon sees that potential in Niemann.

"Physically, absolutely he's capable of pitching later in the game," Maddon said.

It could come to that for Niemann, but in the meantime he's focused on maximizing his shot at a starting job. He'll have to beat out Mitch Talbot, Jason Hammel and David Price to make the cut.

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