No timetable yet for Ryan Zimmerman’s return to Nationals

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Expected to miss 4-6 weeks when he fractured his right thumb five weeks ago, Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman remains on the disabled list and said yesterday that there’s no timetable yet for his return.

Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post reports that Zimmerman will undergo X-rays Monday and could be cleared to begin a strengthening program is it shows sufficient healing has taken place.

However, according to Kilgore because Zimmerman has not been able to do any throwing since suffering the thumb injury in mid-April his chronic right shoulder problems could further delay his return. In other words, more so than other players Zimmerman can’t just take a month-plus off from throwing and then pick up right where he left off.

It sure seems like he’s going to miss a lot more than six weeks.

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.