Joe Saunders has something to prove

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Joe Saunders already told reporters last week that he feels he is “just as good” as Dan Haren and through two starts with his new team, it’s pretty clear he is on a mission to prove just that.

After holding the Phillies to two runs over seven innings in his D-Backs’ debut last Thursday, Saunders allowed just one run in a complete-game win over the Nationals on Tuesday night.

Saunders told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that he felt some extra weight to step it up for his home debut.

“It’s nice that he (Gibson) has the confidence in me. There was a little talk about the Diamondbacks gave up a
lot in Haren. I’m here to prove the fans wrong, obviously, and prove my
worth to the organization.”

 “Tonight was a big night. First impressions are big, and I had a decent start.”

There’s obviously a lot of pride on the line for Saunders here, but his new home isn’t going to change the fact that his 55-32 career win-loss record is over-rated based on the quality of the team he played for. Wins are going to be harder to come by in the desert, likely exposing him for the mid-rotation starter that he truly is. 

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.