Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Jesse Crain was a no-brainer to clinch a spot on the team’s Opening Day roster. However, a groin and shoulder injury in the early part of Spring Training is certainly working against him.
Crain was a huge part of Chicago’s success in 2012 in which he went 2-3 with a 2.44 earned run average, 60 strikeouts and 10 holds in 51 appearances. Even though he blew four saves, he was still a huge asset out of the bullpen. The right-hander is expected to play a similar role if he earns a spot on the 25-man roster in 2013.
Crain was forced to pull out of the World Baseball Classic due to a shoulder strain. He was set to pitch for Team Canada, but was not prepared to put the regular season in jeopardy. However, now it appears that missing the start of the MLB regular season is a strong possibility. Crain was tired after throwing a bullpen session this past Sunday and he was unable to pitch in a Minor League game on Wednesday, although he did toss another session on the side. Crain is confident that he will be able to throw on Friday to test out where his injuries are at in the healing process.
“It’s getting closer, but I know what I need to get ready,” said Crain, according to the Chicago Tribune. “My arm feels great, and my pitches feel great. It’s just being able to extend (my leg) and be game ready and hopefully I’ll be ready to do that in the next couple days.”
At this point, the 31-year-old must do whatever he can to allow his shoulder and groin to heal properly. Obviously, this is hard to do considering he is trying to make a Major League roster. He simply does not have time for everything to heal the way it should. Regardless, the White Sox are going to need Crain’s arm out of the bullpen this season in the competitive American League Central.
Crain surrendered only one hit in one inning of work this spring before his injuries did not allow him to pitch anymore.