Brian Shouse retires. And it’s more significant than it seems

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Relief pitcher Brian Shouse, most recently of the Rays, has decided to retire.  Normally I’d skip over something minor like this, but Shouse’s career arc has a certain beauty to it.

Shouse was drafted by the Pirates in 1990. That’s when being drafted by the Pirates was a good thing.  In his first 12 years as a professional baseball player he pitched all of 13 games in the major leagues.  His odyssey through the minor leagues is truly something to behold. I bet he could recommend a place to eat in 95% of the cities in this country. Then, after converting into a sidearmer, he returned to the bigs in 2002 where he stayed through 2009. During that run he was a good and sometimes pretty damn good lefty specialist and middle relief man.

I could make jokes about how lefties never die, but even most rubber-armed lefties would have called it quits sometime before Shouse’s breakthrough in 2002.  There’s some serious work ethic and determination there. Shouse’s retirement is something that should not be left to a three-word entry in the “transactions” section on page C52 of your newspaper.

Nice career Brian Shouse. Kudos to you for sticking with it when most others would have packed it in a decade ago.  Enjoy your rest. You’ve earned it.

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.