Twins send WBC hero Samuel Deduno to minors

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Samuel Deduno starred for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic, beating the United States and Puerto Rico in back-to-back starts, the latter of which won the tournament championship.

And now he’s headed to the minors.

He was in line to potentially begin the season as the Twins’ fifth starter because Scott Diamond is out with an elbow injury, but Deduno has been sidelined by a groin injury suffered during the WBC and today Minnesota reassigned him to minor-league camp.

Deduno was dropped from the 40-man roster four months ago and went unclaimed by the other 29 teams on waivers. He’ll likely get another chance in Minnesota at some point this season, if only because the Twins’ rotation looks to be one of the worst in the league again.

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.