Rays News

Rays: 16 Things to Look Forward To in 2016

By Mat Germain
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Jun 5, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners shortstop Brad Miller (5) slides safely back to first base under the tag of Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Jake Elmore (10) in the seventh inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 5, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners shortstop Brad Miller (5) slides safely back to first base under the tag of Tampa Bay Rays first baseman Jake Elmore (10) in the seventh inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports /

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

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