Aaron Miles (STAFF PHOTO/PAM DAVIS)
NEW ORLEANS — Cubs infielder Aaron Miles, on the 15-day disabled list since June with a hyper-extended right elbow, is nearing the end of his allotted 20-day rehab stint with Class AAA Iowa.
The Cubs could make a decision on Miles as early as Tuesday, Iowa manager Bobby Dickerson said.
Miles, who has played mostly second base, is batting .203 with seven doubles in 46 games for Chicago. He is in the first year of a two-year, $4.9 million contract after batting a career high .317 in 134 games with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2008.
“The elbow’s feeling good,” Miles said. “It’s not really an issue.”
Miles began a rehab assignment with Iowa on July 16 and since then has batted .253 through 18 games. He was 0-for-3 with an RBI in Iowa’s 3-2 loss to New Orleans on Monday.
Miles said he’s been pleased with his at-bats recently.
“For the first week, it was tough getting back,” he said. “It felt like spring training all over again. But for the last week, I feel like I’m having good at-bats. I feel I’ve hit the ball harder consistently, and I feel good.”
Miles has started over 30 games at second base for the Cubs. He said he wasn’t surprised to get so much playing time early on this season.
“You look at the team and we’ve been through a lot of injuries, and a lot of guys got starts at second throughout the year that you wouldn’t think,” said Miles. “But I expected to play a lot when I signed and to play a lot at the beginning of the year. It’s unfortunate that I’ve had to fight through some injuries and didn’t play as well as I’d have liked. But I’m getting back to form and hopefully I can help the team.”
Miles began his career with the Houston Astros as a 19th-round draft pick in 1995. He made his major league debut with the Chicago White Sox in 2003 and spent the next two seasons with Colorado. He then played in over 130 games in three straight seasons with the Cardinals from 2006-08.
Despite a rough season in 2009, Miles said he has enjoyed playing on the North Side.
“It’s the best place to play, man,” Miles said. “It’s an atmosphere like no other. To win a game at Wrigley Field is an event every time, and it’s special every time. That’s what you fall in love with and what I’m striving to get back to.
“I felt like I’ve needed a lot of the time that I’ve spent down here to get back to feeling good in my head and at the plate. It’s been a tough year so far for me, but now I feel like I’ve got my swing back and am ready to help out and produce.”