Andrew Cashner makes first minor league rehab start

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According to Dennis Lin of U-T San Diego, Padres right-hander Andrew Cashner began a minor league rehab assignment last night with High-A Lake Elsinore and tossed two scoreless innings.

Cashner, out since June 23 with right shoulder soreness, allowed one hit and no walks while striking out three batters. He threw 19 out of 24 pitches for strikes. Jeff Sanders of U-T San Diego reports that he’s expected to make two more starts in the minors, with the next coming Wednesday with Double-A El Paso. The hope is that he’ll get stretched out to around 75-8o pitches before making his return.

Cashner, 27, owns a 2.36 ERA and 59/22 K/BB ratio in 76 1/3 innings over 12 starts this season. He’s under team control for two more seasons, so it will be interesting if new general manager A.J. Preller considers dealing him during the offseason. Proving his health and effectiveness down the stretch would increase the asking price.

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.