Trade for Ryan Theriot has Cardinals shopping Brendan Ryan

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Earlier this week the Cardinals acquired Ryan Theriot from the Dodgers and made it clear they plan to start him at shortstop, so not surprisingly Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that “the Cardinals have let other teams know Brendan Ryan is available and they’ll look to trade him during next week’s winter meetings in Florida, if not sooner.”

“I think he still has some ways that he can help the Cardinals, but if there is a deal out there that makes sense for us we should pursue it,” general manager John Mozeliak told Goold. “We need to be open to having those discussions.”

Ryan had a miserable season at the plate, hitting just .223 with a measly .573 OPS, but he’s an elite defensive shortstop and out-hit Theriot in 2009. He’s also two years younger than Theriot and significantly cheaper, although Goold notes “Ryan’s extroverted personality and occasional antics” along with his “reputation for being flighty.”

At the very least Ryan would make an excellent utility man and the various shortstop-needy teams kicking the tires on guys like Jason Bartlett or J.J. Hardy should definitely be giving Mozeliak a call.

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.