Brad Lidge gets a cortisone injection; will miss Opening Day

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MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki reports that Brad Lidge has and inflamed elbow, which required a
cortisone injection yesterday. Lidge has been slow getting going this spring due to recovery from elbow surgery, but he had been expected to make Opening Day. Now that’s off the table and it will be the second week of the season before he’ll see action. At the earliest.

Given his performance last year it’s hard to say if having Lidge out longer than expected is a good thing or a bad thing for the Phillies . . .

Indians sign Melvin Upton Jr. to a minor league deal

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The Cleveland Indians have agreed to a minor league deal with outfielder Melvin Upton, Jr.

Upton, 33, battled a torn thumb ligament and a shoulder issue last season, limiting him to only 12 games with Triple-A Sacramento, the Giants’ affiliate. In those 12 games, he hit .244 with one double and one home run. Upton last played in the majors in 2016 with the Padres and Blue Jays with which he posted an aggregate .693 OPS.

Given the injuries suffered by Indians outfielders in the past couple of seasons it can’t hurt to have some options for organizational depth. If he has anything left in the tank, stash him on the bench or down in Columbus. If not, no harm done.