Shaun Marcum to make minor league rehab start Thursday

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Aaron mentioned earlier this morning that Shaun Marcum made it through a 30-pitch simulated game yesterday with no issues. Now he’s ready to make the next step.

According to Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Marcum is scheduled to make a minor league rehab start Thursday with Class A Wisconsin. It will be his first start since June 14 due to right elbow soreness.

Marcum was recently moved over to the 60-day disabled list, so he won’t be eligible to rejoin the Brewers until August 15. Of course, given the long layoff, he will require need multiple rehab starts, anyway.

Marcum, an impending free agent, posted a 3.39 ERA and 77/29 K/BB ratio over his first 13 starts this season prior to hitting the shelf. Assuming he avoids any setbacks, he’ll have a limited window to be showcased for a potential waiver deal before August 31.

Zach Britton receives stem cell injection, likely done for the season

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Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.

The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.

Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.

Dodgers can clinch NL West on Friday

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The Dodgers staved off a four-game series sweep at the hands of the Phillies, winning 5-4 on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. The win reduced their magic number in the NL West to one, meaning that a win against the Giants at home or a Diamondbacks loss to the Marlins on Friday will result in clinching the division.

Of course, the Dodgers winning and the Diamondbacks losing hasn’t exactly been a sure thing lately. The D-Backs rattled off a 13-game winning streak from August 24 through September 6. The Dodgers lost 11 games in a row from September 2-11 and were on a four-game slide before Thursday’s win.

The Dodgers will send Rich Hill to the mound to start opposite Jeff Samardzija. The Diamondbacks have Zack Greinke opposing Adam Conley.