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Rays’ Brad Miller has surgery, says he’ll be set for spring training

By Marc Topkin

ST. PETERSBURG — Rays infielder Brad Miller didn’t have much to feel good about after a rough and injury-interrupted 2017 season.

But he expects to be feeling better, and doing better, in 2018 after having core muscle surgery last month to address issues in his groins and lower abdomen.

Miller, 28, said Thursday that "everything went well" with the surgery and with a six-week recovery/rehab time he should have no problem being set to go for the start of spring training in February.

The team had not announced the surgery.

Miller missed 42 games over a pair of disabled list stints for groin and abdominal issues during the season, and when he was active, he didn’t play well, hitting .201 with nine homers and 40 RBIs. That after hitting .243 with 30 homers and 81 RBIs in 2016.

A visit to specialist Dr. William Meyers in Philadelphia led to the decision to have surgery.

"I was obviously laboring for a while and didn’t feel right, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to see a specialist and get to the bottom of it,’’ Miller said. "I’m glad I was able to take care of it so quickly after the (season).’’

Also Thursday:

• Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi’s $2 million option was picked up, with the expectation he will replace free agent Alex Cobb in the rotation. Eovaldi, who spent 2017 rehabbing from Tommy John elbow surgery (and making $2 million), can earn up to an additional $3.5 million in incentives based on innings and starts.

• Eovaldi, infielder Matt Duffy and pitchers Taylor Guerrieri and Shawn Tolleson were reinstated from the 60-day DL. Coming off the roster as free agents were Cobb; first baseman/DH Lucas Duda and Logan Morrison; relievers Steve Cishek, Tommy Hunter and Sergio Romo; outfielder Peter Bourjos; and infielder Trevor Plouffe.

• The hiring of a first base/assistant hitting coach is near, with Triple-A coach Ozzie Timmons a leading candidate.