Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reported last night that the Cubs “are believed to have made a qualifying bid” for Albert Pujols.
However, this morning Carrie Muskat of MLB.com spoke to an unnamed Cubs official who “denied the reports.”
Muskat adds that she thinks a Cubs offer to Pujols “seems unlikely” because it “doesn’t fit into what Theo Epstein has said he wants to do in Chicago.”
Most of the speculation about Pujols and the Cubs seems to stem from Epstein meeting yesterday with the first baseman’s agent, Dan Lozano, but as Epstein coyly noted afterward Lozano represents numerous clients in addition to Pujols.
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.