More busts to scare Nats fans

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It’s Strasburg Eve, so that means a reminder of just how harrowing it can be to draft a pitcher number 1. We talked about Ben McDonald last week, but here are some more names to throw into the hopper:

Right after McDonald, [Todd] Van Poppel (1990), [Brien] Taylor
(1991) and [Matt] White (1996) were successively called the best high
school pitching prospects of the draft era, and all received
record-breaking contracts while being represented by Boras.

But Van Poppel’s contract-mandated call-ups to Oakland stunted his
growth from the start; a shoulder injury sustained in a fight tore up
Taylor’s ticket to Yankee Stadium; and White, whom scouts praised less
publicly in part because of Van Poppel’s and Taylor’s failures, never
made it to Tampa Bay.

There’s no way on Earth the Nats don’t draft Strasburg, but it’s worth
remembering all of the can’t miss kids who came before him.

Video: Gift Ngoepe singles in his first major league at-bat

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Pirates infielder Gift Ngoepe, just called up from Triple-A Indianapolis, singled in his first major league at-bat on Wednesday evening against Cubs starter Jon Lester. It was a well-struck ground ball up the middle in the bottom of the fourth inning. Unfortunately for him, the Pirates could not bring him around to score.

Ngoepe, who was pinch-hitting, stayed in the game to play second base.

Shelby Miller getting third opinion on elbow from Dr. James Andrews

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Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Monday due to inflammation in his right elbow. He had a second opinion from Dr. Neal ElAttrache on Tuesday and is currently awaiting a third opinion from Dr. James Andrews, Craig Grialou of Arizona Sports reports. That he’s getting a third opinion seems to imply that Miller’s elbow issue is rather serious.

Miller, 26, hasn’t been able to catch a break since joining the Diamondbacks. Last year’s nightmarish season included a finger injury stemming from mechanical woes and a brief demotion to the minor leagues. In 20 starts in the majors last year, Miller posted an ugly 6.15 ERA. This year, his ERA is a mediocre 4.09 over four starts.

The Diamondbacks called up Zack Godley to take Miller’s spot in the rotation. There was some speculation that it would be Archie Bradley instead, but he’s been working out of the bullpen.