Erick Aybar hoping to return from knee injury this weekend

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Erick Aybar has avoided the disabled list after suffering an ugly looking knee injury on Casey McGehee’s takeout slide last week and manager Mike Scioscia said yesterday that the shortstop is on the verge of returning.
According to Scioscia “he did great” and “got a glowing report” while taking batting practice, running, and fielding ground balls prior to Thursday’s game, making it likely that “he’ll be available this weekend” in at least a part-time role.
“I’m ready to get back out there,” Aybar told Lyle Spencer of MLB.com. “I feel normal. If it was up to me, I’d play today.”
Aybar was just starting to heat up before the injury, batting .340 with six steals in his previous 25 games. Maicer Izturis coming down with an injury of his own shortly after Aybar was knocked out of the lineup has left Brandon Wood filling in at shortstop, but he hasn’t played particularly well (shocking, I know) and will now have to fight the hot-hitting Kevin Frandsen for starts at third base.

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.