David Wright swings bat for first time since intercostal strain

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After running, fielding grounders and playing catch yesterday, David Wright took some swings off a tee in the cage this morning for the first time since a strained left intercostal muscle caused him to withdraw from the World Baseball Classic last week.

Wright said that he felt no pain during his workout and still hopes to be ready for Opening Day. Mets general manager Sandy Alderson indicated to Marc Carig of New York Newsday that he is cautiously optimistic about his progress.

“I’m glad it’s a goal,” Alderson aid. “Is it realistic? Yeah, I think it’s realistic. I don’t think there’s any certainty, but it’s realistic.”

If Wright needs more time, the Mets could go with either Justin Turner or Zach Lutz at third base. Further complicating matters is that Daniel Murphy is also working his way back from an intercostal strain. If both Wright and Murphy are sidelined at the start of the season, it’s possible that Jordany Valdespin could play second base.

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.