Hanley Ramirez to undergo shoulder surgery next Thursday

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We already knew that Hanley Ramirez was going to require surgery on his ailing left shoulder, but now we have the date.

According to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post, Dr. James Andrews will perform the surgery next Thursday.

The Marlins hope Ramirez will be ready for spring training, but we won’t get an accurate timetable for his return until the surgery is complete. Early word is that he may need 4-6 months to rehab, which could put him at risk for missing the early part of the 2012 season and the opening of the new Marlins’ ballpark.

Ramirez, 27, batted just .243/.333/.379 with 10 homers, 45 RBI and a .712 OPS over 385 plate appearances this season. He is under contract for $15 million in 2012, $15.5 million in 2013 and $16 million in 2014.

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.