Report: Phillies, Royals involved in ‘serious’ Melky Cabrera talks

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Melky Cabrera’s last stint in the NL East was pretty much a disaster, but the Phillies are apparently looking to bring him back.  They’ve exchanged names in trade talks with the Royals, FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi reports.

Cabrera has been a very solid center fielder for the Royals this season, hitting .296/.333/.459 with 12 homers and 14 steals in 405 at-bats.  It’s a big turnaround from a 2010 season in which he hit .255/.317/.354 with four homers and seven steals in 458 at-bats for the Braves.

If they can’t land Carlos Beltran, the Phillies may well settle for an outfielder who can back up Shane Victorino in center and help out in the corners against lefties.  Cabrera, though, isn’t particularly well suited for such a role.  He’s not a stellar center fielder, and while he’s a switch-hitter, he’s been considerably weaker against left-handed pitching in his career (.684 OPS, compared to .735 against righties).

Morosi says no deal is particularly close at the moment.  Cabrera, though, likely will be moved prior to the July 31 deadline.  The Royals need to clear room for Lorenzo Cain, a product of the Zack Greinke deal currently hitting .319/.385/.525 at Triple-A Omaha.

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.