Mitch Moreland was out of the Rangers’ lineup yesterday for the second straight game because of an abscessed tooth and will use today’s break in the schedule to undergo oral surgery, according to T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com.
Mike Napoli came out from behind the plate to start at first base in Moreland’s absence yesterday, but Sullivan reports that the Rangers expect him to be ready to play again post-surgery as soon as tomorrow versus the Red Sox.
The tooth problems compound a rough start for Moreland, who’s followed up a disappointing sophomore season by going 3-for-20 (.150) through six games. He needs to start hitting to keep his job, so the clock will be ticking once Moreland returns from surgery.
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.