Monday, March 23, 2009

Joe Maddon, Jason Hammel, 5th Starter Decision

Manager Joe MaddonMarc Lancaster has this from Jason Hammel and manager Joe Maddon on the competition for the Rays 5th starting slot:
After issuing five walks to Pirates hitters (including the leadoff man in three of the four innings he pitched), Hammel was quick to fall on his sword. "To sum it up in one word, basically: unacceptable," he said. "For a rotation hopeful that's definitely not what you're supposed to [do]. The one good thing is I felt strong, my arm was good, but other than that, the guy I was the first few appearances wasn't there today. I wasn't aggressive, I was nitpicking, trying to pick the corners."
"We want guys that throw strikes," Maddon said. "We have a team that plays defense and you want your pitchers to put the ball in play." Maddon also went out of his way to insist no decision has been made when it comes to the final rotation spot. Niemann will get another chance to state his case Wednesday night against the Pirates in Port Charlotte, and it could be his last chance. Maddon has said he would prefer to finalize everything by the end of this week.

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