Nate McLouth hasn’t been the same since leaving the Pirates in mid-2009 and now that the 30-year-old outfielder is a free agent Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports that a return to Pittsburgh could be in the works.
According to Biertempfel the Pirates and McLouth have “mutual interest” in a reunion and have “begun talking” about a deal.
He’s coming off a three-year, $15 million contract, but may have to settle for a cheap one-year deal or possibly even a minor-league pact after hitting just .210 with a .650 OPS in 166 games for the Braves during the past two seasons.
Pittsburgh acquired Charlie Morton, Jeff Locke, and Gorkys Hernandez from Atlanta in the original deal for McLouth, but his stock has plummeted so much since then that a fourth outfielder job is probably the best he can hope for.
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.
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.