Braves encouraged by progress of Markakis, Inciarte

Nick Markakis was born Nov. 17, 1983 in Glen Cove, N.Y. Markakis graduated from Woodstock High in metro Atlanta and attended Young Harris College in northeast Georgia. In Markakis' first season at Young Harris, he was Baseball America’s 2002 National Junior College Player of the Year. Markakis was drafted in the first round of the 2003 draft by the Orioles. He was the seventh player drafted. He was drafted three times. The time he was a 6-1, 160-pound high school pitcher in 2001, by the Reds in the 35th

The Braves, winners of eight consecutive games entering Saturday, could welcome the return of two regular outfielders before September’s end.

Nick Markakis is progressing from a fractured wrist and could be back as soon as next weekend. Ender Inciarte remains optimistic he’ll work his way back from a hamstring injury by the end of the regular season.

Markakis, on his first stint on the injured list since 2012, has been sidelined since late July. He has always targeted a mid-September return date, which appears increasingly likely. The right fielder will take at-bats in simulated scenarios next week and the team will take it from there.

“Nick is doing real good,” manager Brian Snitker said. “Taking batting practice and everything. Hopefully we’ll get him in a couple (simulated) games in Philadelphia and see where we’re at. He’s progressing really good.”

While Markakis could return next weekend, Inciarte is just hopeful to be back before the postseason. He’s missed 18 games with a right hamstring strain but has felt better recently, he said, pushing himself “65 to 70” percent Saturday without any issues.

Inciarte has been swinging in the batting cage and facing the pitching machine at higher speeds. His timetable will be determined in how he fares running-wise. Snitker remains cautiously optimistic, citing Inciarte’s work ethic – he’s the first one at the ballpark every day – and recent progress.

“I have to take it day-to-day,” Inciarte said. “Hamstring issues, you have to be careful. You only have one shot to get it right because if not I’ll probably lose the rest of the season.

“I’m pretty positive I will (be back before the postseason). I don’t want to say it will happen that way. God’s in control. Hopefully I’ll come back when it’s best for me and the team. I really want to play. I watch the games every day from the dugout, and it makes me want to be part of what the team’s doing every day. … I’m doing the best I can to come back early. I can’t tell you or not which date that’s going to be, but I’m pretty encouraged it’ll be before the season ends.”