Two minor leaguers suspended

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Normally these drug suspensions are about the least substantial things we cover. But on “player X avoids arbitration with a one year deal” day, this is big news, my friends:

Oakland Athletics Minor League right-handed pitcher Gary Daley Jr. has been suspended for 50 games without pay after testing positive for Methylphenidate.  The suspension of Daley, who is currently on the roster of the Double-A Midland RockHounds, will be effective at the start of next season.

Man, “Methylphenidate: is a big word. Fifteen letters! I bet no one can top that!

Free agent Minor League first baseman Austin Gallagher has been suspended for 50 games without pay after testing positive for Methylhexaneamine.  The suspension of Gallagher will be effective immediately upon his signing with another Major League organization.

I stand corrected.

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.