Jeff Niemann: AL Rookie of the Year Candidate
Tampa Bay’s Jeff Niemann is making a strong case to become the 2009 American League Rookie of the Year. Niemann has a 12-6 record, 112 strikeouts, a 1.32 WHIP, the 12th best FIP in the AL (4.04), and two complete-game shutouts. The Rays are making a push for Niemann to win the award, which includes the P.R. Department sending out info sheets on Niemann’s statistics. Niemann, who won the fifth spot in the rotation during Spring Training has a decent chance at winning the award.
Before the disaster in Baltimore, Niemann made five quality starts in a row. His 3.80 ERA is also better than the ERAs of Rick Porcello (4.21) and Ricky Romero (4.22). Porcello does have one more win than Niemann with 13, but also has 2 more losses. Niemann’s also struck out more batters than Porcello. Niemann is the only AL rookie pitcher to post multiple complete game shutouts this season. Oakland’s Brett Anderson is the only other AL rookie pitcher to have one complete game shutout. Despite being touted before this season, Porcello is no lock to win the award. Niemann’s most recent start did nothing to solidify his Rookie of the Year candidacy, but it didn’t necessarily deal it a death blow. Niemann still has a good shot at the award.
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