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Rays taking it slow with Miller

Injury-marred 2017 has team cautious with infielder; making sure he is 100 percent for start of season
MLB.com @wwchastain

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Brad Miller remains on the shelf while recovering from a broken right pinky toe. But the Rays' infielder has been taking part in some baseball activities.

Miller, who is an option for the Rays at first base, second base, and DH, has not played in a game since Feb. 23. He did not accompany the team to Clearwater for Tuesday's contest against the Phillies.

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CLEARWATER, Fla. -- Brad Miller remains on the shelf while recovering from a broken right pinky toe. But the Rays' infielder has been taking part in some baseball activities.

Miller, who is an option for the Rays at first base, second base, and DH, has not played in a game since Feb. 23. He did not accompany the team to Clearwater for Tuesday's contest against the Phillies.

View Full Game Coverage

"He hit [Monday] in the cage," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "Took some light ground balls. Full flips, tee, batting practice. No limitations. Obviously, I didn't see him today. I think within the next four or five days we'll see him out there."

When pressed if his response meant that Miller could be back in the Rays' lineup by the end of the week, Cash noted:

"Could be. That has not been said yet."

The Rays' first game of the regular season is March 29, when the Red Sox visit Tropicana Field. Cash was asked if Miller is now in jeopardy of being ready to start the season because of how limited he has been this spring.

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"I don't think so, quite yet," Cash said. "We can ramp up the at-bats. We've got Minor League games where we can get him ABs starting today or tomorrow. We'll get him caught up on at-bats."

After hitting a career-high 30 home runs in 2016, Miller experienced an injury-plagued 2017 that saw him hit a career-low .201 in 110 games, with just nine home runs, his fewest since his rookie season.

Miller missed a combined 42 games due to a pair of stints on the disabled list for a left abdominal strain, and a right groin strain. He underwent core muscle surgery following the season.

Concern for Miller favoring his injury, and causing injury in another area of his body has been a factor in why he's missed as much time as he has this spring.

Bill Chastain has covered the Rays for MLB.com since 2004.

Tampa Bay Rays, Brad Miller