Kyuji Fujikawa is back from the disabled list after missing the past four weeks with a strained forearm.
The injury cost him a chance to take over for Carlos Marmol as the Cubs’ closer, so he’ll slide back into a setup role in front of new closer Kevin Gregg. Chicago’s ninth-inning situation figures to remain pretty volatile all season though, so don’t count Fujikawa out of the mix for saves at some point.
He got off to a slow start, allowing six runs in five appearances, but apparently he was trying to pitch through the injury since spring training.
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.