It’s Only Spring But…

By Dustin Staggers

I know it is hard to get worked up over Spring Training pitching performances, especially still being in the first week of Spring games.  This is the time of the year that guys who have no bidness being on MLB rosters, get a chance to shine.  It’s the time when guys who are 19 and are most likely destined to be back in High A or AA get to show their stuff.

For the Rays though, this is an important time.  We have currently have a real abundance of pitching, namely starting pitchers who we aren’t sure whether they should be starters, relievers or closers.  So while generally this time of the year has to be taken with a grain of salt, the Rays have some serious evaluation to do.

Two guys who will be scrutinized heavily this spring are Wade Davis and Jeff Niemann.  Both at times have been Baseball America top 25 prospects, and both still  have tremendous upside in my opinion.  With the possibility that David Price might start the year in the minor leagues, these two guys could be battling it out for the final rotation spot.  

First game for both pitchers:

Wade Davis – 2 IP, 0H, 0BB, 3K

Jeff Niemann – 2IP, 0H, 1BB, 2K,

Niemann might technically have the upper hand on the rotation spot because of the fact that he is out of options, and can not be sent down to the minor leagues without passing through waivers, a process which he would certainly not clear.

Regardless, should be a highly competitive spring for the Rays, and in particular, these two pitchers.