FORT MYERS – How often and where Brad Miller plays for the Rays – first, second or DH – is yet to be determined. Saturday was just about playing again, his first action since Feb. 23 due to residual issues from a broken toe, and even better that it went well.
"Just happy to be running around and not feeling anything," he said.
The toe issue impacted Miller's lower body and specifically his running, a concern given he had hip issues last year and core muscle repair surgery in October.
He looked pretty frisky in the 4-3 loss to Boston, running to second on two doubles, handling six plays at first and running down Brock Holt on a pick off.
Miller still has to make up for lost time to be ready for the March 29 opener but manager Kevin Cash called it "a very encouraging day," noting how well he moved around.
With Miller down, there has been speculation the Rays could go after Adam Lind or Kennys Vargas, but they seem likely to stick with Miller.
Quote of the day
"We were playing speed-up rules and he was ready to end the inning."
– Cash, "explaining" why Carlos Gomez took off from first on a one-out fly ball and ran past teammate Kean Wong for a double play.
RHP Austin Pruitt, a strong candidate for a long relief job, had a much improved outing, allowing two hits over three scoreless innings. "Really threw the ball well," Cash said. "A good bounceback." … RHP Andrew Kittredge, another candidate, allowed a homer pitching on his birthday. … RHP Ryne Stanek had a rough outing, coming in with a 3-1 lead in the sixth then falling behind 3-0 for a leadoff walk and allowing a double and three-run homer. … LHP Jonny Venters, trying to make it back to the majors for the first time since 2012, had his fifth scoreless outing, working in the bottom of the zone. … OF Jason Coats, competing for a bench job, has three hits. … The Rays are 9-12-1.