Friday, July 29, 2011

Line of the Day: Jeff Niemann: July 29th, 2011

Jeff Niemann of the Tampa Bay Rays allowed just three hits and struck out a career-high 11 in 6 2/3 innings in a 8-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners. (video recap)

Line: 6.2 IP | 3 H | 0 ER | 3 BB | 11 K; W | QS

My fantasy perspective: In 13 starts this season, Niemann is 5-4 with a 3.51 ERA, a 7.0 K/9 ratio and career-low 2.3 BB/9. Since returning from a DL stint in late-June, he is 4-0 with a 1.88 ERA. Over his last three starts he has a 0.87 ERA.

deeper look into his numbers show a FIP of 3.58 and an xFIP of 3.68, validating what you see is what you get. Plus his 18.2 K% and 6.0% have led to a career-best 3.05 K/BB ratio. Even a .291 BABIP and 73.4 LOB%  show he's putting up legit numbers. Not bad for a number four starter.

Question: Is Niemann trade bait or part of the long-term plans for the Rays' rotation?

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