Jason Vargas needs surgery to remove blood clot

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On the disabled list with a blood clot in his left armpit, Angels left-hander Jason Vargas will undergo surgery to remove the clot and is expected to miss at least three weeks.

Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that Vargas will be completely shut down from throwing for two weeks, but the Angels are hopeful that he’ll be able to return without needing a lengthy minor-league rehab assignment.

Vargas has pitched well for the Angels since being acquired from the Mariners for Kendrys Morales this offseason, starting 14 games with a 3.65 ERA and 62/30 K/BB ratio in 91 innings. And if the Angels don’t climb above .500 soon the impending free agent could be a prime trade candidate next month.

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.