Jeff Niemann thinks people get the wrong idea about the kind of pitcher he is. Because he is a very large man who drew attention in college for throwing mid-90s out of the Rice bullpen, he is often perceived as a power arm forced down a few miles per hour after shoulder surgery.
However, Niemann said that was never him. He believes that even in his college days, he was his most effective sitting in the low 90s and high 80s on the radar gun.
With four years of major league service time on his baseball card, Niemann knows when he's at his best and when he isn't. That's why he wasn't overly concerned when he gave up five runs and 10 hits in six innings in the Tampa Bay Rays' 6-3 loss to the Baltimore Orioles on Friday.
For Niemann, it's about the process and not the immediate results.
''Honestly, that's the best I've felt all spring, the best I've thrown the ball,'' said Niemann, competing with Roberto Hernandez to claim the Rays' fifth starter spot. ''I just made a couple of bad p...