Mariners shortstop Brad Miller had a monster spring training, batting .410 with 14 extra-base hits and a 1.314 OPS in 70 plate appearances to easily hold off Nick Franklin for the starting job. And he kept rolling last night, homering twice in an 8-3 win over the Angels.
Combined with his half-season debut last year Miller now has 10 homers in 78 career regular season games. He also went deep 16 times in 108 total games between Double-A and Triple-A while in the minors.
That’s not extraordinary power or anything, but it certainly suggests Miller is capable of hitting 20-plus homers over the course of a full season and … well, not a lot of 24-year-old shortstops do that. In fact, here’s the complete list of 24-year-old shortstops with 20 or more homers in the last 20 years: Alex Rodriguez, Nomar Garciaparra, Hanley Ramirez, Troy Tulowitzki, J.J. Hardy, Bobby Crosby.
Miller was never a particularly highly touted prospect coming up through the Mariners’ farm system, but he hit .334 with a .925 OPS in the minors and looks ready to form a helluva double-play combo with Robinson Cano.
This might be the end of the line for Chone Figgins.
First he was released by the Mariners, who chose to eat $8 million rather than keep him around for another season, and now the Marlins have released him as well.
If you can’t secure a bench spot as a veteran player with defensive versatility on what may prove to be the worst team in the entire league where do you have left to go? Other than the minors, I suppose.
Incidentally, it’s sad to think about how many photos will always exist of veteran players wearing uniforms of teams that released them in spring training. Figgins on the Marlins, Ronny Cedeno on the Cardinals, Bobby Crosby on the Brewers, Matt Diaz on the Yankees. And that’s just this week.
Bobby Crosby’s comeback attempt with Milwaukee is over, as the Brewers released the former Rookie of the Year today.
Crosby, who hasn’t played in the majors since 2010, signed a minor-league deal in January that would have been worth $850,000 in guaranteed money and another $450,000 in incentives if he made the Opening Day roster.
Crosby is 33 years old now and has hit just .229 with a .633 OPS in 501 games as a major leaguer since 2006, including zero seasons with an OPS above .700. And he hit just .188 this spring.