Francisco Cervelli nearing return from broken left foot

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Initially given a 4-8 week recovery timetable after breaking his left foot on March 2, backup catcher Francisco Cervelli could be close to returning to the Yankees after catching six innings in an extended spring training game.

Joe Girardi said yesterday that “everything is going according to plan” with Cervelli’s rehab and Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com reports that he “could return to the Yankees in as little as 10 days.”

Cervelli got just a handful of spring training at-bats before the injury, so he’ll need to go out on a minor-league rehab assignment before coming off the disabled list. Russell Martin is playing well enough that he doesn’t have to worry about losing significant playing time to Cervelli, who would instead resume backup duties while pushing Gustavo Molina off the roster.

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.