Pirates make UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole first pick in the draft

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As expected, the Pirates made UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole the first overall selection in the 2011 draft.

Cole was selected 28th overall by the Yankees out of high school three years ago, but he opted to go to UCLA rather than sign. Armed with a high-90s fastball, he was widely regarded as the top upside pick in the draft. He doesn’t have great command and neither his slider nor changeup is an elite pitch at the moment, but with time, he could emerge as a true ace for the Pirates.

Cole isn’t as polished as UCLA teammate Trevor Bauer, who outpitched him by a wide margin this season. However, he is the best chance for the Pirates to hit a home run here. A modest disappointment as a junior, he went 6-8 with a 3.31 ERA and a 119/24 K/BB ratio for the Bruins. He struck out 376 in 322 1/3 innings in his three seasons overall.

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.