Nick Masset is not close to returning from shoulder surgery

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Nick Masset missed all of last season with a shoulder injury that eventually required surgery in September and the Reds reliever is behind schedule in his comeback, telling John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that he’s “had some small setbacks.”

Initially the Reds indicated that Masset would likely be ready for spring training, but so far he’s only advanced to throwing from 90 feet a few days per week and Fay says he “is a long way from resuming a normal spring training throwing schedule.”

Before the injury Masset was a good setup man for the Reds, averaging 74 innings with a 3.15 ERA from 2009-2011, and he’s under contract for $3.1 million this year.

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.