Drew Hutchison avoids surgery on elbow, shut down for 4-6 weeks

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Here’s some good news for the injury-riddled Blue Jays.

According to Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star, Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said this afternoon that Drew Hutchison will not require Tommy John surgery. Hutchison was recently diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow, but he will be shut down for 4-6 weeks before resuming a throwing program.

There’s always the chance of a setback which would necessitate surgery, but Hutchison could rejoin the Jays later this season if the rehab process goes well. The 21-year-old right-hander made his major league debut two months ago and posted a 4.60 ERA and 49/20 K/BB ratio in 58 2/3 innings prior to the injury.

The Blue Jays are also missing Brandon Morrow and Kyle Drabek at the moment, so they have their work cut out for them in order to stay afloat in the playoff race. Jesse Chavez, who gave up four runs in 2 2/3 innings Tuesday against the Brewers, is being asked to make another start Sunday against the Marlins while Aaron Laffey will join the rotation to start Tuesday against the Red Sox.

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.