Miller a 'huge bright spot' for Rays at 2B

Miller a 'huge bright spot' for Rays at 2B

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- Brad Miller has shined thus far while playing second base.

Manager Kevin Cash told reporters on Tuesday that Miller has been playing the position at a "high level" this spring and that he has been a "huge bright spot" for the team.

Cash went on to note that if you "stick" 30 home runs at the second-base position -- the number of homers Miller hit last season while playing primarily shortstop and first base -- "you're talking about an All-Star second baseman."

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• Right-handers Jake Odorizzi and Jose De Leon will not be heading to WBC 2017 to pitch. Odorizzi was a possibility for Team USA for the final two rounds, as was De Leon for Puerto Rico.

Brad Boxberger (sore lat/back) told reporters that his bullpen session on Monday went well and that he is scheduled to throw another on Wednesday. He is encouraged about his status and optimistic that he'll be ready for Opening Day.

Xavier Cedeno, who did not make an appearance after Aug. 29 last season because of stiffness in his neck, has changed his weight-lifting regimen, believing that some of the exercises he was doing might have been a factor. He has been healthy this spring.

• Right-hander Jaime Schultz noted at the beginning of camp that he had two plus pitches, with the fastball and curveball, adding, "But I'm trying to develop my changeup. I think the past two years working with all the pitching coaches and coordinators, I think it's really developed into an average pitch, and I'm trying to make it more than average."

Now that he's developed into a serious bullpen candidate, Schultz has scaled back his work on the changeup to focus on his best two pitches. Cash said that is a good thing, noting that Schultz needs to improve his command.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.