Hideki Matsui unlikely to re-sign with A’s

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Since taking over as the A’s manager in the middle of the season Bob Melvin has said repeatedly that he’d like the team to re-sign Hideki Matsui, but he sounds highly unlikely to get his wish.

Melvin reiterated his desire for Matsui to return while speaking to reporters yesterday at the winter meetings, but general manager Billy Beane downplayed the odds of it happening and indicated that the A’s will turn to younger players in the designated hitter role.

Beane mentioned Chris Carter, Brandon Allen, and Kila Ka’aihue, each of whom have some flaws and each of whom are very capable of topping Matsui’s production at a fraction of the cost.

Matsui plans to play somewhere in 2012 at age 38, but hit just .251 with 12 homers and a career-low .696 OPS in 141 games for the A’s while being paid $4.25 million.

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.