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Rays journal: Brad Miller activated from disabled list

Tampa Bay Rays' Brad Miller, center, is congratulated in the dugout after scoring on a single by Derek Norris during the fifth inning of an interleague baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Tuesday, May 2, 2017, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Tampa Bay Rays' Brad Miller, center, is congratulated in the dugout after scoring on a single by Derek Norris during the fifth inning of an interleague baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Tuesday, May 2, 2017, in Miami. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Published Jun. 3, 2017

SEATTLE — 2B Brad Miller felt good enough about being over his lower abdominal strain after one rehab game that he was activated and rejoined the Rays lineup Friday.

Flying cross-country to do so was worth it, he said after spending 2½ weeks watching his mates play since being hurt May 15.

"It's been fun seeing how well we're playing, so I just want to kind of get back and join the party," he said.

That he came up with the Mariners, spent parts of three seasons playing in Seattle and has friends and memories here was only part of it.

"I love coming here, no doubt," he said. "But I was itching to go. I don't care if we were playing in Alaska or Russia, I was coming. And I was glad they were on the same page with me."

To make room, the Rays sent OF Mallex Smith back to Triple-A Durham after calling him up Wednesday, opting to keep INF/OF Michael Martinez on the bench.

Manager Kevin Cash said that decision was based on wanting Smith to get regular at-bats in the minors rather than sit on the Rays bench. "Could he do thing things right now to help us win games? Definitely," Cash said. "But saying that, big picture we probably need him to get some consistent reps. He's going to be back at some point when there is opportunity."

The Rays are hoping for more from Miller, who was hitting .205 with two homers and 14 RBIs when hurt, dropping him to eighth in the lineup. He had a rough return defensively, missing the first grounder hit near him and botching the second that was a potential double play.

Pitching in

RHP Matt Andriese is hoping to rejoin the rotation for next Saturday's doubleheader against Oakland, which would be a big help to the Rays as they already will have to call up another starter. Andriese said the groin strain that forced him from Tuesday's game is feeling better, and he has tentative plans to play catch today.

More medical matters

RHP Brad Boxberger, sidelined since a spring flexor issue, will start a rehab assignment Sunday with the advanced Class A Stone Crabs, slated for roughly six appearances over three weeks and targeting a late June return. … C Wilson Ramos (knee) is slated for one more appearance in extended spring training today then will be set up to start a 20-day rehab, also aiming for late June. … OF Peter Bourjos (tennis elbow) will play Saturday and Monday for the Crabs, looking to return when eligible Thursday. … SS Matt Duffy remains limited by the toe injury he sustained rehabbing his heel issue.

Quote of the day

"Tremendously."

Ex-Rays/now-Mariners SS Taylor Motter, when asked by Seattle Times writer Ryan Divish how much he'd enjoy putting up some big numbers vs. his ex-mates. He hit a grand slam in the first inning.

Archer's feel-good visit

RHP Chris Archer spent Friday morning speaking to kids in the Seattle RBI (Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities) program, and he said he enjoyed the appearance, his first this year in a program he started in 2015, as much as they did. "It was so much fun, it was good to be in front of some youth, it was good to deliver a positive message," he said. Archer was touched when the kids presented him with a Homestead Grays Negro Leagues jersey as a thank you. "It was a meaningful gift," he said. "You know they thought about it."

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Miscellany

. The Rays will look into RHP Sam Dyson, the Tampa product who was DFA'd Friday by Texas after a 1-6, 10.80 start and will be traded. Dyson had 38 saves last season and isn't a free agent until 2021.

. Willy Adames became the Rays' top prospect based on his play at shortstop, but Friday he played second base at Triple-A Durham, a move the Rays say will happen once every 10 games or so to increase his versatility.

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