Jeff Niemann to DL with shoulder soreness

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Jeff Niemann must overcome a health obstacle, again.

The Tampa Bay Rays announced Friday that they have placed the right-hander on the 15-day disabled list because of right shoulder soreness. Brandon Gomes, a right-hander, was recalled from Triple-A Durham to take Niemann’s place in the bullpen.

“We’ve been fighting this for a while,” Niemann said. “The whole time, we’ve always been heading … in the right direction and feeling like we’re doing all right. These past three days — just trying to stay ready and be active down there in the bullpen — it has kind of set me back a few steps. … I’m just going to let this thing play out and go day-to-day right now.”

Niemann, a five-year veteran, lost out on a rotation spot to right-hander Roberto Hernandez, who made his Rays debut Thursday by giving up four runs and six hits in 6 2/3 innings in a loss to the Baltimore Orioles.

Niemann is no stranger to the disabled list. He made just eight starts for Tampa Bay last season while dealing with injuries.

Gomes, meanwhile, had a 1.74 ERA in 10.1 innings in nine appearances in spring training.

“It’s always good to get up here and help out with what I think is a good team,” said Gomes, who has a career 3.62 ERA in 54.2 innings in the majors. “It’s a great group of guys who have an opportunity to win a lot of games. To be a part of that is going to be a lot of fun. I’m really looking forward to it.”

In another roster move, the Rays announced they have sent minor-league catcher Stephen Vogt to the Oakland A’s in exchange for a player to be named later or cash.

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