Marlins release Casey Kotchman

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Casey Kotchman was the Marlins’ Opening Day first baseman, but landed on the disabled list with a strained hamstring after just two games. He came back in June and played four more games before going back on the DL with an oblique injury.

Now he’s finally healthy again, but this time the Marlins don’t want him back, releasing the 30-year-old who had been rehabbing in the minors. Kotchman hit .295 with zero homers and a .737 OPS in 18 games at Triple-A and Logan Morrison is entrenched as Miami’s regular first baseman.

Kotchman is a good-fielding first baseman, but he’s always lacked the kind of bat teams look for at the position and it’s hard to imagine him landing more than a bench gig for 2014.

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.