Jeff Locke lasted just two innings in Saturday’s 15-5 loss to the Diamondbacks, so the Pirates had to do some roster shuffling on Sunday to bolster their tired bullpen. Andrew Lambo was one of the casualties.
Lambo, a talented 25-year-old outfielder and still the home run leader this year in the minor leagues, was officially optioned back to Triple-A Indianapolis to oepn up a 25-man roster spot for the arrival of left-handed reliever Kris Johnson. Mike McKenry was transferred from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day disabled list in a corresponding procedural move.
Lambo tallied just one hit — an RBI double — in his four-game stay with the NL Central-leading Pirates.
He has a .926 OPS, 31 homers and 97 RBI in 117 games this year between Double-A and Triple-A.
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.
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.