Frank Francisco ready to begin rehab assignment

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Mets right-hander Frank Francisco will begin a minor-league rehab assignment today at Single-A, according to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York.

Francisco underwent minor elbow surgery in December and began the season on the disabled list after some setbacks in his recovery during spring training, opening the door for Bobby Parnell to serve as the Mets’ closer.

Parnell has converted his lone save chance so far, with five strikeouts in 3.1 innings overall, and seems likely to hang onto ninth-inning duties unless he falters in a major way. There’s no timetable yet for Francisco’s return, but beginning the rehab stint starts a 30-day clock that can only be reset if he suffers a setback or another injury.

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.