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Jeff Niemann wins final spot in Rays’ rotation, Wade Davis heads to bullpen

Mar 27, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

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Matt Moore‘s presence in the Rays’ rotation meant they had six starters for five spots and today manager Joe Maddon announced that Jeff Niemann will be the fifth starter and Wade Davis, who started 29 games in each of the past two seasons and has never relieved in the majors, will be in the bullpen.

Maddon added that the Rays still consider Davis a starter, but it’ll take an injury or a trade or someone performing terribly for him to resume starting again any time soon.

And it makes sense, because while Davis is certainly a capable back-of-the-rotation starter, a 4.22 ERA and 254/138 K/BB ratio in 388 career innings makes him clearly the worst option and the Rays also think he’s capable of making a late-inning impact as a reliever eventually. So far his only two career appearances as a reliever came in last season’s playoffs, when Moore joined the rotation.

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