Rays: 16 Things to Look Forward To in 2016
Number Seven Thing to Look Forward to: A Better Short-Stop
The Rays made an outstanding addition to the team when they acquired Brad Miller from the Seattle Mariners. Not only is the 26-year-old Miller much younger than last season’s short-stop, Asdrubal Cabrera, but he’s lightyears ahead of him defensively speaking and may have another level to reach offensively speaking now that he’s entering his prime hitting years.
We made a direct comparison between him and Cabrera in mid-December, when we made “The Case for Brad Miller at SS“. Some of the highlights included a 6.8 improvement in RngR, 6.7 improved UZR, which all added up to a 4.7 improvement in Def rating. There’s no doubt that Rays pitchers will benefit from the improved defensive performance Miller will have – which is rated within the top half of MLB – and that it should allow for an improved performance in 2016.
This offseason, no move is likely to have a greater impact on the standings than the expected improvement at SS. And if Miller falters and can’t get the job done, Daniel Robertson will be waiting in the wings – in AA or AAA – looking for a shot to prove he can handle MLB pitching. In either case, both should be much better defensively than Cabrera was in 2015.
Next: Number Eight Thing to Look Forward to: An All-Star 2B