Alex Cobb throws first bullpen session since concussion

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According to the Associated Press, Rays right-hander Alex Cobb threw a bullpen session yesterday for the first time since he suffered a concussion when he was hit in the head by a line drive back on June 15.

Cobb has had trouble with his balance since the incident, but he said his vertigo symptoms have improved over the past week. There’s still no timetable for him to return to game action, but the bullpen session was a step in the right direction.

“The bullpen went great,” Cobb said. “It felt like I had before I got injured. Surprising because it usually feels a little awkward out there when you haven’t been on the mound for a while. Getting on the mound is, obviously, a step in the right direction. I don’t think we’re extremely close, but we’re a lot faster along than we expected.”

The 25-year-old Cobb was having a breakout season prior to the concussion, posting a 3.01 ERA and 76/23 K/BB ratio over 83 2/3 innings in 13 starts.

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.