Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Brad Miller was placed on the 10 day disabled list after missing the past two games with an abdominal strain.
Miller is expected to get an MRI to evaluate for a possible sports hernia. If the strain is minor, surgery is not required and Miller should be back in two to four weeks. However, if it turns out to be a larger-scale injury, Miller could require surgery and be out for up to three months according to Dr. Selene Parekh.
After a breakout 2016 season, the 27-year old has not enjoyed the same success at the plate to start this season, as Miller is batting only .205 with two homeruns and 14 runs batted in, despite typically hitting second in the lineup.
To replace Miller, the Rays quickly acquired middle infielder Michael Martinez to bolster their depth, with Martinez viewed as a fringe major leaguer at this point in his career.
The 34-year old has played 282 games at baseball’s highest level in the past seven seasons, but Martinez has only logged 14 plate appearances for the Indians this season. In limited situations, though, Martinez has had some success in the batter’s box, as he is slashing .364 in 2017.
However, Daniel Robertson is the guy who is expected the receive the lion’s share of playing time up the middle to replace Miller in his first major league stint since climbing up from Triple-A last season. Robertson’s struggles do not make him a viable option on the waiver wire at this point, as he is batting .183 with just three runs and six runs batted in this season.
Until Miller is able to return, hold off on Tampa Bay’s replacements barring an unexpected hot streak.
Although both Robertson and Martinez are not reasonable pickups, the other starting infielder, shortstop Tim Beckham, becomes an interesting play. The Rays have not moved the .279 hitter with seven dingers and 23 runs batted in up from the seventh spot, but may soon bring Beckham up to the two spot if he continues to hit well. Regardless, though, Beckham certainly deserves a closer look, as he is currently owned in just 20.2 percent of all ESPN fantasy leagues despite producing the 12th-most points from the shortstop position.