Pirates drop Jonathan Sanchez and his 11.85 ERA

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Pittsburgh handed Jonathan Sanchez an Opening Day rotation spot despite his being the worst pitcher in baseball last season and predictably after four terrible starts they’ve mercifully decided to designate him for assignment.

Sanchez managed to allow 18 runs in 13.2 innings, get demoted to the bullpen, and draw a six-game suspension for throwing at Allen Craig’s head, so it was a very memorable month.

Dating back to the beginning of last season Sanchez is 1-12 with an 8.73 ERA and more walks (61) than strikeouts (60) in 78 innings while allowing opponents to hit .330 with a 1.057 OPS. He’s still just 29 years old and not that far removed from being a solid mid-rotation starter with a good strikeout rate for the Giants, but that’s about as bad as pitching gets.

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.