Oft-injured Nick Johnson signs minor league deal with Indians

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Last offseason Nick Johnson signed a one-year, $5.5 million contract with the Yankees, but after yet another injury wrecked season the 32-year-old disabled list regular has had to settle for a minor-league deal with the Indians, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.

If healthy Johnson brings excellent on-base skills to the lineup, but that’s sort of like saying “if in shape Aaron Gleeman wears a size-32* jean.” No one has seen either in such a long time that it’s impossible to tell if they still exist.

Johnson is one of just 10 active players with a .400 on-base percentage in at least 3,000 career plate appearances, although “active” might be stretching things a bit. He’s played more than 100 games just four times in eight full seasons, including missing 138 games last season and 124 games in 2008 with wrist injuries and sitting out all of 2007 with a broken leg.

* OK, maybe a size-34. Whatever.

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.