Cole Hamels has shoulder inflammation, will miss a start

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To my thinking, the only thing that can stop the juggernaut that is the Philadelphia Phillies are injuries.  And on that score there is some not-awful-but-not-good news coming out of the Phillies clubhouse this afternoon:

Cole Hamels, who has been suffering from dead arm, had a “precautionary” MRI yesterday, and the results, according to Matt Gleb, are that he has inflammation in his shoulder.  He’ll be skipped once in the rotation and then reassessed. Given that he’s not going to play for a bit, I guess that makes Ryan Howard the sixth best player on the Phillies.

Meanwhile, Placido Polanco, who hasn’t played in ten days, is still out of the lineup, suffering from a sports hernia. The news on him is a bit more troubling.  If he needs surgery, Ruben Amaro says, he’s gone for the year.  Surgery or not, at some point, the Phillies have to consider disabling him because even a team that strong can’t go with a 24-man roster forever.

Of course, given their eight and a half game cushion in the division and their 11-game cushion for a playoff spot, they can afford to fart around with that kind of thing longer than most.

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.