Wandy Rodriguez says he’s ready for spring training

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Wandy Rodriguez started off strong for the Pirates, posting a 3.47 ERA through his first 11 starts of the 2013 season. He retired just one batter in his next start on June 5 against the Braves, however, and soon after went on the disabled list with a strained left forearm. He would spend the rest of the season on the DL.

There was some uncertainty about his readiness with spring training drawing near, but the 35-year-old left-hander says he’ll be ready for day one of spring training according to Rob Biertempfel of the Tribune-Review. Rodriguez has been working out at his home in the Dominican Republic.

Biertempfel notes that, because the Pirates have two early off days on April 1 and 7, they could push Rodriguez’s season debut back to April 14’s series opener in Cincinnati.

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.