Brad Miller ‘trying not to get too far ahead of' himself with oblique injury


Brad Miller is dealing with baseball’s dreaded O-word, an oblique. He’s sidelined by an oblique strain and it’s not immediately clear how much time he will miss. He had an MRI Sunday afternoon and the Phillies hope to know more on Monday.

Miller was scratched Saturday with the injury, but he said Sunday morning that it’s something he began feeling early in camp. 

“I’ve kind of been feeling some stuff throughout spring,” he said. “Just normal, getting back into action. Yesterday, it felt like it picked up a little bit, wasn’t going away. I went out to run, I was out on the field, I was excited to play, talking to Rhys (Hoskins) and I’m just like, ‘Yeah, I probably (shouldn’t).’

“I haven’t had something exactly like this. This is definitely that oblique area that we know needs a lot of attention and something you definitely don’t want lingering. Anytime I’m not playing, I want to be able to go. But I think I was smart yesterday, we did the right thing. I’m trying not to get too far ahead of myself.”

Oblique injuries tend to take a few weeks to rehab. It takes only one swing, one twist to suffer a setback.

Manager Joe Girardi said Saturday that losing Miller for a period during the regular season would be “significant” and that’s because he’s their best bench player. He’s more than that, given the time he’s expected to see at first base and left field to spell Hoskins and Andrew McCutchen. 

For now, he’ll rest and spend time in the training room. 

“Even my last game, it felt best in the game,” Miller said. “I’m out there running around not thinking about it. That’s why we didn’t have any concern. Then once I was doing my normal stuff and warming up, it started when I was moving around. It’s nothing crazy. I was like, OK, that’s a little different now than before. So let’s pump the brakes a little bit.

“Just got a little tweak in there. I’m so emotional, I’m up and I’m down, so I think giving it a couple days where I don’t get ahead of myself. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious. It pulls at every fiber of me wanting to play.”

Miller hopes to be ready for opening day (April 1) but did not yet have a timetable. If he is not ready to go by the opener, it could create an opportunity for an infielder like C.J. Chatham, Ronald Torreyes or Nick Maton, or potentially an outfielder like Travis Jankowski. Chatham and Maton have the advantage of already being on the Phillies’ 40-man roster. 

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