Rays Brad Miller feeling better after core muscle repair surgery

Miller had a rough and injury interrupted 2017 season.
Brad Miller had a rough 2017 for the Rays. [WILL VRAGOVIC / Tampa Bay Times ]
Brad Miller had a rough 2017 for the Rays. [WILL VRAGOVIC / Tampa Bay Times ]
Published Nov. 2, 2017|Updated Nov. 2, 2017

Rays INF 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 abdominals.  The team had not announced he had surgery.

Miller said Thursday "everything went well" with the surgery and with a recovery and rehab time of six weeks should have no problem being fully ready for the start of spring training in February.

Miller missed 42 games over a pair of DL stints for groin and abdominal issues during the season, and when he was active didn't play well, hitting .201 with nine homers and 40 RBIs. That was a big dropoff from 2016, when he hit .243 with 30 homers and 81 RBI.

A visit to specialist Dr. William Meyers in Philadelphia after the season led to the decision to have surgery. (Meyers did surgery on Rays RHP Brad Boxberger in March 2016.)

"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)."

Assuming the Rays keep Miller, they have to decide whether to keep him at second base, move him back to first (which is now open with Lucas Duda and Logan Morrison free agents) or use him at DH. Miller is eligible for arbitration for a second time and projected by to make $4.4-million.