Roy Halladay throws first bullpen session since landing on disabled list

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Chase Ultey is back in the lineup, Ryan Howard is playing in rehab games and Roy Halladay is throwing from a mound again. Don’t rule those Phillies out yet.

Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com reports that Halladay threw off a bullpen mound today for the first time since being placed on the disabled list one month ago with a lat strain. He threw 33 pitches in all and used his entire arsenal, after which Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee suggested that the rehabbing right-hander could be ahead of schedule.

“Again, we’re talking about a different animal,” Dubee said. “He might be a few days quicker than the doctors thought, but his work ethic might have something to do with that.”

The Phillies will see how Halladay responds tomorrow before scheduling his next bullpen session, but Dubee said that he’s “progressing very nicely.” The two-time Cy Young award winner was originally expected to miss six to eight weeks, which places his return in mid-to-late July. He may or may not need a minor league rehab assignment.

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.