As expected, the Angels are using Albert Pujols at third base in order to get another bat into the lineup during interleague play in NL ballparks.
Pujols, who began his career as a third baseman and started there four times for the Cardinals last season, is making his first Angels start at the hot corner against the Rockies. That opens up first base for Kendrys Morales, who hasn’t started anywhere but designated hitter since May 29, 2010 … the day he broke his ankle celebrating a walk-off homer.
Manager Mike Scioscia also has right fielder Torii Hunter batting second in the lineup, which he hasn’t done since hitting .198 in 29 games there last year.
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.