Buster Posey on pace to be fully healthy by spring training

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From Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle comes this promising update on young Giants catcher Buster Posey, who had his 2011 season cut short by a nasty late-May collision at home plate:

For the last six weeks, Posey has been rehabilitating and strengthening his leg in Scottsdale. He is taking batting practice. He has caught bullpen sessions from instructional-league pitchers. He is running 100-foot sprints, at 90 to 100 percent of full speed, he surmises, with no noticeable discomfort. … He is encouraged by his progress.

Posey ended his daily workouts this weekend and headed back to his home in Georgia to begin his offseason resting period. When it comes time for pitchers and catchers to report to spring training in February, he fully expects his once-fractured left leg to be all the way back to 100 percent.

Posey earned Rookie of the Year honors in 2010 after registering a .305 batting average, .862 OPS, 18 home runs and 67 RBI in 108 regular-season games. He was hitting .284/.368/.389 this year until the collision.

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.