Padres’ trade for Bartlett ‘better than 50-50’ to happen

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Nobody’s quite sure why the Padres’ trade for Rays shortstop Jason Bartlett has been put on hold.  The swap was initially agreed to a full week ago, but something might have gone wrong during the physicals for the three involved players or the two teams may still be working out contract matters.

Whatever the case, Jon Heyman of SI.com reported Wednesday that the trade is “better than 50-50” to get done.  But, like, worse than 70-30.  And worse than 60-40.

The Rays were slated to get relievers Cesar Ramos and Adam Russell in return from San Diego and were planning to plug some of the holes in their bullpen with the lefty and righty.  Tampa Bay’s talented 2010 relief corps has been ravaged this winter by the free agent market.

The Padres, meanwhile, were hoping to start Bartlett at shortstop.  He had a rough 2010, but the Friars got very little production from short this past year and his presence would have meant an improved 2011 lineup.

For now we will continue to play the waiting game.

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.