09/01/12 7:00 PM ET
Rays to take wait-and-see tack with Niemann
By Bill Chastain / MLB.com
Afterward, he did not isolate the location of the stiffness in his arm, but he did not anticipate having medical tests performed at this juncture. Rather, it appears the Rays will take a wait-and-see stance.
Niemann had three scoreless innings under his belt in what appeared to be a glorious return from the disabled list. He retired Rajai Davis on a flyout to right field to start the fourth. He then stepped off the mound and was paid a visit by Rays manager Joe Maddon and team trainers.
After a brief conference, Niemann left the game and J.P. Howell was summoned from the bullpen.
"Between the third and fourth inning, things just kind of tightened up a little bit," Niemann said. "[I] just wasn't able to comfortably throw like in the first three innings."
Maddon said the decision to lift Niemann was not a difficult one.
"He just didn't feel right," Maddon said. "There's no way when a pitcher tells you his arm is a little sore you're going to leave him out there."
Niemann spent the last 3 1/2 months on the disabled list with a fractured right fibula that he suffered on May 14 against the Blue Jays when a line drive hit by Adam Lind struck him in the first inning.
Niemann said he hopes the problem will not linger.
"I'm hoping not," Niemann said. "... [We'll] see how it feels tomorrow, go home and see how we are."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.