Aybar, Angels avoid arbitration with one-year deal

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Erick Aybar and the Angels have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $2.05 million contract with an additional $100,000 in potential incentives based on reaching 575 and 625 plate appearances.
Aybar was asking for $2.75 million via arbitration while the Angels filed at $1.85 million, so even reaching the maximum incentives would mean that he settled $150,000 below the midpoint that is so often standard in arbitration-avoidance deals.
He’ll be arbitration eligible again in 2011 and 2012, so while Aybar is among the best young shortstops in baseball the Angels are in no rush to lock him into a long-term deal quite yet. He turned 26 years old last month and may be asked to replace Chone Figgins in the leadoff spot after batting .312/.353/.423 in 137 games (and 556 plate appearances) last season.

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.