Albert Pujols not in Angels’ starting lineup Saturday

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Thinking that a day of rest might help Albert Pujols both mentally and physically, Angels manager Mike Scioscia is giving the first baseman his first full off-day on Saturday against the Blue Jays. Pujols didn’t even take pregame batting practice and is not expected to be available for pinch-hitting duties.

This according to the Orange County Register.

“I’m just going to give him a little breather…” Scioscia explained. “Sometimes when you’re trying to find something and you’re pounding your head against the wall… if you take that half-step back and take that half-step to the right, there’s that huge door.”

Pujols went 0-for-4 with a strikeout on Friday night and is now batting just .194/.237/.269 on the year.

Mark Trumbo is starting at first base and Alberto Callaspo is playing third base on Saturday night.

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.