Matt Kemp won’t be cleared to swing a bat until January

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Matt Kemp held a conference call with reporters this afternoon to discuss his status following October 5 shoulder surgery and revealed that he won’t be cleared to swing a bat until at least January.

“That’s the time I usually start hitting anyway,” Kemp said, although based on other players who’ve gone through similar surgeries–new teammate Adrian Gonzalez being one of them–his status for Opening Day is far from certain.

Doctors discovered more damage than expected once they had him under the knife, telling Kemp that they were surprised he was able to play through the injury in September. He was in the lineup for 27 games in the final month and homered six times, but hit just .222 with a .705 OPS.

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.