Jeff is a dog lover and has a Belgian Tervuren Shepherd named Sadie...she was featured in the 2012-13 Players & Pooches calendar, showing off Rays players and their dogs to benefit the Pet Pal Animal Shelter...his German Shepherd mix named Ginger passed away in January...Jeff visited the Pet Pal shelter in St. Pete with Ginger last season...He remains involved with the baseball programs at his high school and college alma maters, Lamar High School and Rice University, both located in Houston...he visited both teams during the offseason...At 6'9", Jeff was the third-tallest player in the majors in 2012 behind Mets pitchers Jon Rauch (6-foot-11) and Chris Young (6-foot-10)...matches southpaw Mark Hendrickson as the tallest player in Rays history...Jeff's basketball career ended abruptly when he was cut from the Lanier Middle School team
in favor of Emeka Okafor, now a 6'10" center for
the Washington Wizards.2012Opened the season as the Rays fifth starter, but
spent three and a half months (May 16-Sep 1)
on the disabled list with a fractured right fibula...limited to just eight starts, three of which were against Toronto...Suffered the injury on May 14 at TOR when a liner from Adam Lind struck him in the ankle in the first inning...placed on the DL the next day...Returned to make only one more start on Sept. 1 at TOR, but pitched only 3.1 innings due to tightness in his right arm...later diagnosed with slight inflammation in his rotator cuff...His best start came May 9 at NYY (7-IP, 6-H, 1-R/ER, 1-BB, 5-SO)...left trailing 1-0, but the Rays scored four runs in the ninth off RH David Robertson to win...Despite winning only two of eight starts, his career winning pct. of .606 (40-26) is the second highest in club history (min. 25 decisions) behind David
Price (.663)...Although winless in four starts vs. the AL East, his career winning pct. of .640 is seventh best among active pitchers (min. 25 decisions). Gave up three ER or less in each of his eight starts but failed to get through the sixth inning in seven of them...Opposing batters hit only .180 (20-for-111) through their first two plate apps against him...in their third PA, that avg. jumped to .345 (10-for-29)...Held right-handed batters to a .119 avg. (7-for-
59)...lefties hit .280 (23-for-82). In his 4-3 win on May 3 at SEA, he faced an all
left-handed hitting lineup (seven lefties, two switchhitters)...according to Baseball Reference, it was the first time in Rays franchise history that an opposing lineup featured all left-handed hitters...Is 13-2 in his last 16 starts when the Rays have
scored at least three runs while he was in the game...Made four starts on a rehab assignment from Aug 8-25...started with Class-A Charlotte where he made two starts before moving to Triple-A Durham where he made two more starts, his last
coming on Aug 25 vs. Norfolk...posted a 6.91 ERA (14.1-IP, 11-ER) with 10 SO, five BB and 26 hits allowed over the four starts.2011Enjoyed his 3rd consecutive season of 10-
plus wins and a winning record...Scott Kazmir
(2005-08) is the only other Ray to achieve
this...went 11-7 in 23 starts, despite starting the
season 0-3 in his first 4 starts...went 11-4 with
a 3.52 ERA (115-IP, 45-ER) in 19 starts the rest
of the season sandwiched around a stay on the
DL, May 5-June 19, with a lower back strain...His .632 winning pct. (36-21) over the last
three seasons (2009-11) is tied for 8th highest among all major league pitchers with at
least 75 starts...his career winning pct. of .623
(38-23) is the highest in club history (min. 30
decisions)...Went 8-2 (.800) with a 3.27 ERA (71.2-IP, 26-
ER) in 12 road starts, the 2nd-best road record
in the AL, winning 8 of his last 9 decisions...his
.700 winning pct. on the road over the past 3
years is 2nd best in the majors...Was 5-1 vs. the AL East and is now 16-8 (.667)
vs. that division, 4th-best winning pct. among
active pitchers (min. 25 starts)...Was 2-0 in 3 starts vs. the Red Sox while holding them to a .127 (9-for-71) average...only four
pitchers with a minimum of 20 innings have
held the Sox to a lower average in one season
over the past 65 years... Went 11-1 in starts when the Rays scored at
least 3 runs...In 6 starts prior to the DL stint, went 2-4 with
a 5.74 ERA (31.1-IP, 20-ER)...in his first 10 starts
after returning from the DL (June 20-Aug 16),
went 7-0 with a 2.15 ERA (67-IP, 16-ER)...in his
last 7 starts (Aug 22-end) went 3-3 with a 6.08
ERA (37-IP, 25-ER)...overall after returning from
the DL went 10-3 with a 3.55 ERA (104-IP, 41-
ER) and 88 strikeouts in 17 starts...Went 3-0 with a 1.06 ERA (34-IP, 4-ER) in 5
starts in the month of July...his ERA set a club
record for any month (min. 25 IP) and ranked
2nd in the majors...went 4-1 with a 3.35 ERA
(37.2-IP, 14-ER) in 5 starts in August...4 wins
tied a club record for August...Won 7 straight decisions from June 20-Aug 16,
tying his career high and the club record...Threw a complete-game 3-hitter on Aug 16
at BOS in the second game of a doubleheader, winning 6-2...followed James Shields, who
threw a complete game in losing the first
game, 3-1...it was the first time teammates
turned in complete games on the same day
since MIL Angel Miranda and Ricky Bones on
Aug 13, 1993 vs. DET and first against the Red
Sox at Fenway since CLE Luis Tiant and Sonny
Siebert on June 29, 1969...Recorded 3 double-digit strikeout games in
July after never having done so in his career
prior to that...included was a career-high 11 SO
on July 29 at SEA...on July 17 vs. BOS matched
Josh Beckett with 8 shutout innings in a game
the Rays lost 1-0 in 16 innings...allowed 2 hits
and 2 walks with 10 strikeouts...His final start, Sep 24 vs. TOR, was the shortest of his career, lasting only 1 inning (2-H, 2-R/
ER, 2-BB, 0-SO, 38 pitches)...he was relieved by
Alex Torres...Rays went on to win, 6-2.2010Had his second consecutive season of 12
or more wins and a .600 winning pct. one of
only eight major leaguers to reach those levels
in each of the last two seasons joining CC
Sabathia, Roy Halladay, Tim Lincecum, Jon
Lester, Justin Verlander, Chris Carpenter and
... Had one of the best first halves in club history
before he went on the disabled list with a right
shoulder strain on Aug 9 ... was his first trip to
the DL as a major leaguer ... at the time he was
shelved ranked 2nd in the AL in winning pct.
(10-3, .769) and 8th in ERA (3.12) through 22
starts ... returned Aug 25 and in 8 games (7
starts) went 2-5 with a 9.82 ERA including a
win in relief with a scoreless inning (1-IP, 3-SO)
on Oct 3 at KC, the regular season finale.
... In his first start back off the DL, Aug 25 at LAA,
was tagged for 10 runs in 3.2 innings as his
ERA rose from 3.12 to 3.67 in the 12-3 loss ...
allowed 23 runs (all earned) in 10 innings in
his first 3 starts coming off the DL as his ERA
soared to 4.28.
... In his previous 47 starts before going on the
DL between May 13, 2009 and Aug 3, 2010,
he was 21-6 ... over the span of one calendar
year . from June 1, 2009 to June 1, 2010 . his
.875 winning pct. (14-2) was best in the majors.
... Rays were 18-11 in his 29 starts including 17-5
in 22 starts before the injury.
... His average of 15.1 pitches per inning tied for
5th fewest in the AL with NYY CC Sabathia.
... Was undefeated (6-0) in his first 12 starts,
most in the AL to begin the year ... first loss was
June 13 vs. FLA ending his 7-game win streak
that dated back to 2009, tying the club record
held by Mark Hendrickson (2005) and later tied
by Wade Davis ... 6-0 tied James Shields' club
record (2007) for most consecutive victories to
begin a season.
... Went 4-0 with a 2.04 ERA (35.1-IP, 8-ER) in
May, 3rd-lowest May ERA in club history, behind
Scott Kazmir (1.22 in 2008, 1.91 in 2006).
... Threw 9 consecutive quality starts from
April 13.May 27, one behind Julio Santana' s
club record of 10 in 1998 ... it was the 3rd-longest
streak in the AL in 2010 behind SEA Felix
Hernandez (17) and NYY CC Sabathia (16).
... Went more than a year (and 16 starts) without
losing at home, from May 2, 2009 vs. BOS until
losing June 13 vs. FLA ... had been 7-0.
... The Rays won the first 9 road games he started
through July 17 ... the last major league team to
win its first 9 road games of a season started
by one pitcher was the 2005 Cardinals, who
won Chris Carpenter' s first 13 road games.
... Had a 7.58 ERA (38-IP, 32-ER) in 8 daytime
games, highest in the AL ... his 3.50 ERA in
night games was 12th best in the AL.
... On June 25 vs. ARI suffered a 1-0 loss to Edwin
Jackson, who pitched the third no-hitter
against the Rays in less than 12 months ... lone
run allowed was Adam LaRoche' s solo homer ...
his line: 7.1 IP, 6 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 8 SO ...
8 SO matched his season high.
... On June 8 vs. TOR, threw a 2-hit completegame
shutout as he improved to 6-0 ... it was
his third career shutout, most in club history
(later tied by Matt Garza) ... did not allow a hit
until Mike McCoy' s one-out single in the 6th.
... Only four other active pitchers are as tall as
Niemann: TOR Jon Rauch (6' 11" ), NYM Chris
Young (6' 10" ), BAL Mark Hendrickson (6' 9" )
and ARI Kam Mickolio (6' 9" ).2009Led all major league rookies in innings pitched
(180.2) and all American League rookies in winning
pct (.684), ERA (3.94), complete games (2)
and shutouts (2)...His .667 (13-6) winning pct. ranks 5th all time
among AL rookies with 30 or more starts...
also ranked 6th overall in the AL and best by
any pitcher in club history breaking James
Shields' club record (.636 in 2008)...Led the Rays in wins and ERA, becoming the
first rookie to lead a defending AL champion
in those two categories since NYY Bob Grim
in 1954...Only 4 major league rookies in the 2000s
matched his totals for ERA, innings and wins:
BAL Rodrigo Lopez (2002), DET Justin Verlander
(2006), TOR Gustavo Chacin (2005) and
ATL Jair Jurrjens (2008)...His 13 wins were one shy of the club rookie
record set by Rolando Arrojo in 1998...his
innings, strikeouts and starts are 3rd most in
Rays history by a rookie...trailed Arrojo and
Scott Kazmir in those categories...Allowed only 0.85 home runs per 9 innings
(180.2-IP, 17-HR), best among AL rookies and
6th best overall in the AL...at one point, threw
57 straight innings without allowing a homer...
worked the most innings (15.1-IP) of any pitcher
against the Yankees without allowing a HR
to the major league leaders...Held opponents leading off an inning to a .240
on-base pct., lowest in the majors...walked
only 6 leadoff batters all season, out of 192
batters faced...opponents batted only .215 off
him in those situations, lowest in the AL...Allowed 2 ER or less 18 times and 3 ER or less
22 times...Lost his first 2 starts and was 2-3 after his first
6 starts, but was 11-3 with a 3.61 ERA (152-IP,
61-ER) in his last 24 starts beginning May 13.
Did not lose at Tropicana .. Field after May 2...
was 6-0 in 10 home starts after that date...his
3.05 ERA at home tied with SEA Felix Hernandez
for 10th best in the AL...Owned 2 of the 5 SHO thrown by AL rookies...
both came at home...blanked Kansas City on
2 hits (1-BB, 9-SO) on June 3...allowed a 5thinning
single and an infield hit with 2 outs in the
9th...threw a 7-hit SHO July 10 vs. OAK...Became the 5th rookie (2nd in AL) in this decade
to throw 2 SHO...also CLE Jeremy Sowers
(2006), FLA Dontrelle Willis (2003), PHI J.A.
Happ (2009) and LAD Hiroki Kuroda (2008)...Became the first rookie ever to beat Roy Halladay
twice...was later joined by teammate
David Price with that distinction...beat him at
Toronto both times: 4-1 on June 29 (7.1-IP, 4-H,
1-ER, 2-BB, 1-SO) and 12-7 on Aug 24 (6.1-IP,
8-H, 6-R, 5-ER, 3-BB, 3-SO)...Five times he exited in line for the victory before
the Rays bullpen failed to hold the lead...Stopped the Rockies 11-game win streak
June 16 at COL winning 12-4...became the
first rookie to snap a winning streak of 11 or
more games since MIL Ben Sheets stopped a
Cubs 12-game skid in 2001...Opponents were 2-for-17 (.118) with the bases
loaded but both hits were grand slams...Held opposing 3rd and 4th hitters to a .216
(35-162) average, 7th lowest in the majors...Dating back to July 24, 2006, he is 44-19 in his
last 97 starts in the majors and minors (including
postseason).2008Was Triple-A Durham's Opening Day starter
and spent the bulk of the season there, but had
two stints in the majors...made two starts for
the Rays in April and was recalled on Sep 13
as the Bulls completed their postseason run.
Was promoted on April 9 to take the place of
starter Matt Garza, who was placed on the
DL with right nerve irritation...won his major
league debut April 13 vs. BAL...totaled 6.0-IP,
6-H, 1-R/ER, 1-BB, 5-SO...only run allowed
came on a Nick Markakis homer in the 6th...
became the first Rays pitcher since Kazmir
(Aug 23, 2004) to win his debut and 7th Rays
pitcher overall (5th starter)...tossed 28 pitches
in the 1st inning, 65 over his remaining 5
In 2nd start, April 18 vs. CWS and Javier
Vazquez, was charged with 8-R, 5-ER over
3.1-IP...walked 4 and allowed 2-HR...optioned
back to Durham on April 21.
Was used three times in relief in September...
earned his second career victory and first win
in relief ever in professional baseball on Sep
23 at Baltimore...tossed 2.1 innings in relief of
starter Mitch Talbot, allowing a pair of runs (4-
H, 2-SO, 1-BB).
On Sep 19 vs. MIN, tossed the final 1.1 innings
of the 11-1 victory...was his first relief appearance
since 2005 with Montgomery.
Went 9-5 in 24 starts for the Bulls with a 3.59
ERA (133.0-IP, 53-ER)...his .207 opp avg. was
7th lowest among all qualifying minor leaguers...
held right-handed batters to a .162 avg...
lefties hit .242.
Ranked among leaders with a 3.59 ERA (7th in
International League, 10th Rays org.), 128-SO
(5th in org.) and 3 CG (T-1st in IL).
Tossed Durham's only two 9-inning complete
games: July 2 vs. Charlotte (7-H, 1-R/ER,
1-BB, 12-SO) and a shutout Aug 20 at Louisville
(4-H, 0-BB, 6-SO)...recorded doubledigit
strikeouts 3 times during the regular season
and a 4th time in the postseason.
Made 2 starts during the Bulls' postseason
run...pitched an IL-high 14.2 innings in the
postseason and K'd 19, second in the league
to Scranton's Phil Hughes...with the Bulls facing
elimination in Game 4 of the Governor's
Cup semis on Sep 6 vs. LOU (Reds), tossed
a gem: 8.0-IP, 2-H, 1-R/ER, 3-BB, 11-SO...
earned ND in Durham's 3-2 win vs. SWB
(Yankees) on Sep 11, Game 3 of the Gov. Cup
finals...Bulls went on to lose in the finals 3
games to 1.
40-MAN ROSTER | JEFF NIEMANN
176 | 2009 TAMPA BAY RAYS MEDIA GUIDE
Dating back to July 24, 2006, he is 30-12 in his
last 63 minor league starts (including postseason)
and has pitched to a 3.32 ERA (349.2-IP,
Ranked by Baseball America as the Rays No.
10 prospect following the season.
At 6'9", matches LHP Mark Hendrickson as
the tallest pitcher in Rays history...is 1 of 6
active pitchers listed at 6'9" or taller: ARI Jon
Rauch, ARI Randy Johnson, SD Chris Young,
FLA Hendrickson, BAL Kameron Mickolio.2006Opened the season on the disabled list recovering from October 2005 right shoulder surgery
to shave the joint between his collarbone and shoulder...Returned to the mound on June 19 with AA Montgomery at Jacksonville (Dodgers)...tossed
4.1 innings in the starting assignment but took the loss despite allowing only one run on 4
hits...struck out 8 while walking 1...Was 5-5 overall with the Southern League Champion Biscuits striking out 84 batters in 77.1
innings pitched and allowing more than 3 earned runs only twice in 14 starts...Dropped his first four decisions pitching to a 4.06 ERA over the 6-game stretch as opponents hit .265...Turned the corner over his remaining 8 starts allowing runs in only three games as he went 5-1 with a 1.75 ERA and held opponents to a .156 batting average...Stretch began July 24 when he tossed 7.0 innings. of 1-hit ball against Jacksonville getting the 3-1 win...Made two starts in the postseason going 1-0 with a 2.92 ERA (12.1-IP, 4-ER) and 14 strikeouts...made the start in the Game 1 of the playoffs earning a 4-3 win over Jacksonville...Dominated in the first inning allowing only 2 hits and just 1 run to score over his 14 starts...Joined the Phoenix Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League...made just two starts (0-0, 2.70 ERA) before leaving the team due to a death in the family...Named Tampa Bay's top pitching prospect for the second straight season and the 8th best prospect in the Southern League by Baseball America...also tabbed by the publication as having the organization's best slider...Ranked as the 41st best prospect by Baseball Digest...entered the season as the
publication's 79th best prospect in baseball.2005Had minor surgery on his right shoulder in October ... procedure involved shaving the joint
between his collarbone and shoulder ... Appeared in 11 games between Visalia (A) and Montgomery (AA) in his first professional season going 0-2 with a 4.11 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 30.2 IP ... Held opponents to a .173 batting average (19-for-110) ... allowed only 5 hits to right-handed batters in 60 at-bats, a .083 avg. ... Was 0-1, 3.98 ERA in 5 starts with the Oaks ... fanned 28 batters in 20.1 innings of work ... Took the loss in his first career start April 16 at Bakersfield (Rangers) allowing a run on one
hit and 2 walks in 3.1 IP ... was pulled after reaching his 55-pitch limit ... Recorded a season-high 10 strikeouts over 5.0 IP in his third start April 26 vs. Inland Empire
(Angels) ... allowed just two baserunners (single and walk) ... left with the 1-0 lead but the
bullpen couldn't hold it ... Sidelined with right shoulder inflammation June 21-Aug 2 ... Joined Double-A Montgomery upon his return from the disabled list ... Made 3 relief appearances with the Biscuits, first two were scoreless (2.0 IP) ... Took the loss in his 3rd game out of the 'pen after giving up 4 runs (2 earned) in 0.2 innings ... Moved into the Biscuits rotation for the final 3 weeks of the season ... pitched to a 3.52 ERA with no record in 3 starts striking out 12, walking just 2 and holding the opposition to a .115 avg. in 7.1 combined innings ... Missed his final scheduled start of the season with soreness in his groin ... Appeared in two spring training games with the Rays throwing a total of 4.0 shutout innings (3h, 1bb, 4so) ... Named the Rays' best pitching prospect by Baseball America.