|Rays add 1B Johnson, option RHP Niemann to Triple-A|
|Written by Admin|
|Sunday, 20 April 2008 12:19|
The Rays claimed Johnson off waivers from Oakland on Friday for additional depth.
Starting first baseman Carlos Pena left Thursday's game against Minnesota in the fourth inning with right hamstring tightness. After not playing Friday, Pena was the designated hitter Saturday and Sunday.
``Watching him run today, I'm not convinced that he's ready for defense yet,'' Rays manager Joe Maddon said after Tampa Bay lost to Chicago White Sox 6-0 Sunday.
Niemann, picked fourth overall in the 2004 amateur draft, was recalled from Durham on April 13 and went 1-1 with a 5.79 ERA in two starts.
``I knew it was a possibility,'' Niemann said. ``I'm going to take a wealth of information from these seven days I've been up here, go back and really put that to use.''
Niemann replaced Matt Garza, who is on the 15-day disabled list with right arm nerve irritation, in the rotation. Garza allowed four runs and eight hits over 3 2-3 innings Sunday for Class A Vero Beach in a rehab start, and Maddon said the right-hander is set to rejoin the rotation Friday.