Derek Holland could begin a rehab assignment soon

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Derek Holland, working his way back from microfracture surgery on his left knee, could begin a rehab assignment in the coming days if Monday’s workout goes swimmingly, Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. The Rangers have been cautious with the rate at which they bring Holland along, but he seems to be on a good trajectory now.

Holland suffered the injury in January when he tripped over his dog on the stairs in his home. It was the start of an injury plague that would ravage the Rangers — Holland is presently one of 12 Rangers on the disabled list. If things go as planned, however, Holland could rejoin the team towards the end of the month or at the beginning of July.

Holland stood out last season after finishing with a 3.42 ERA with a career-best 189/64 K/BB ratio in 213 innings over 33 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.