By Bryan Levine, SunCoast Sports
PORT CHARLOTTE — When most major leaguers come to the Charlotte Stone Crabs on a rehab assignment, they play their handful of innings then head to the clubhouse.
That’s not the case for Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Brad Miller.
Miller, who is rehabbing a groin injury which has had him on the disabled list since early June, stayed in the dugout for 23 of the 24 innings played this weekend.
“It just feels good to be back out on the field,” Miller said. “It’s not fun to watch the games from afar. We have a good group here, and it feels good to be back in the dugout and playing a little bit.”
Being around an MLB player is an added benefit for the minor leaguers who are still learning the way of the game.
“He’s a great human being. He really enjoys these guys and we enjoy him. He’s awesome,” Stone Crabs manager Michael Johns said, “The big league guys have a lot on their plates, and for him to stick around, I thought that was awesome. He’s a really quality guy.”
Miller went 1-for-4 on Sunday with a double. It was his third two-bagger of the weekend after he played in both games of Saturday’s doubleheader. He also played seven innings in the field on Sunday and made three plays with his glove including a run-saving scoop on a hard-hit ball at his feet.
“It felt good just to get out there and play seven innings,” Miller said. “The biggest thing right now is just that I’m healthy enough to play. You obviously want to build up to something, but the biggest thing right now is my health and ability to run.”
Miller said he’s unsure what the rehab plan is moving forward.
The 27-year-old has played in 42 games this year with the Rays and is batting .194 in 139 at-bats. He’s hit three doubles, three triples, two home runs and has drawn 32 walks.