Nick Markakis at least three weeks from returning

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Whatever odds Nick Markakis had of playing for the Orioles again this season took a hit today, as the team announced that he won’t have the pin removed from his fractured thumb as hoped.

Instead that will have to wait another week, which likely means Markakis is at least three weeks from potentially seeing game action.

Baltimore making a deep playoff run could make a Markakis return possible, but even that would assume no further setbacks and a seamless return from a pretty serious injury.

Markakis fractured his thumb being hit by a CC Sabathia pitch on September 8 and the Orioles have recently turned to Chris Davis as their primary right fielder in his absence, with Jim Thome taking over as designated hitter.

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.