No one is sure when Matt Cain will pitch for the Giants again

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After letting Matt Cain pitch (poorly) through a “cranky” elbow since spring training the Giants finally shut him down yesterday, placing him on the disabled list with elbow inflammation.

So how long will he be out? No one seems to have a firm grasp on that yet. Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com reports that an MRI exam ruled out ulnar collateral ligament damage, so Tommy John surgery isn’t believed to be necessary, but Cain and manager Bruce Bochy basically said “who knows” when asked anything beyond that.

Cain has apparently been pitching through “loose bodies” in his elbow for four seasons now and it finally got bad enough to hurt his performance and then get him shut down. Of course, Cain refuses to talk to reporters about any injury stuff and actually claimed that the elbow problems were a new thing. So yeah … who knows.

Cain is still owed nearly $70 million on his contract and for now at least everyone involved seems against the idea of a relatively simple “clean up” procedure that would knock him out for six weeks, which suggests the Giants may still believe he can pitch again this season if rest and rehab works.

Another interestingly named player is promoted by the Pirates

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When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.

The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.

Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.

It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.

Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.

Manny Machado teaches us to never give up

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The Rays beat the Orioles last night, but the play of the game belonged to an Oriole defender.

Evan Longoria was batting and he chopped a ball foul down the third base line. At least it started out foul. As we all know, however, it doesn’t matter where the ball starts, it matters where it is when it crosses the bag.

Manny Machado knows this and didn’t give up on the ball despite it starting several feet in foul territory. He watched it come back, stayed with it and threw out Longoria who, unlike Machado, did give up on it, assuming he’d merely get a strike and another hack. Watch:

Longoria would get Machado back, however, fielding a ball Machado smoked to third base in the ninth inning, recording the second to last out of the game.