Jesse Crain Joins John Danks As Chicago White Sox Pitchers In Question For Opening Day

By Matt Malecha
Jesse Crain Chicago White Sox
Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Another day, another Chicago White Sox pitcher in jeopardy of not being ready come Opening Day.

Yesterday, it was reported that John Danks was most likely going to start the 2013 MLB season on the DL. Now, today it is also being reported that White Sox reliever Jesse Crain could join Danks and miss Opening Day as well.

Coming into camp this year, Danks was a question mark. After having to miss most of the 2012 season with an injury to his throwing shoulder, and eventually having surgery on that shoulder, the lefty’s health and status for this year was unknown.

Through the first few weeks of camp, Danks looked sharp and openly made it his goal to be ready come Apr. 1.  However, the 27-year old starter began to struggle with his velocity, and it showed in his performance. Giving up 16 runs in his last two Cactus League starts, it’s obvious Danks isn’t back to his old self yet.

With his road to recovery hitting a bump, it looks as if the White Sox will have to turn to right-hander Dylan Axelrod to replace Danks in the their rotation.

Crain came into camp as a lock to be one of the South Siders top relievers. With a spot on Team Canada for the World Baseball Classic, Crain figured to get plenty of valuable game experience this spring. However, the right-hander suffered a hip strain that caused him to miss the WBC.

At first, this injury wasn’t supposed to limit Crain for more than a week or so. But after feeling some discomfort just 10 pitches into his most recent appearance, Crain’s Opening Day status has become very much in doubt.

Both of these injuries are cause for concern for the White Sox. Without Danks in their rotation, the Sox have a much weaker staff. Crain, although not quite as important to the Sox success as Danks, will be greatly missed if he is in fact bothered by his hip this year. With a bullpen full of young arms, Crain figured to be a veteran who manager Robin Ventura could always turn to when needed.

Although it may be tough, both the White Sox and their injured hurlers need to be patient. Instead of pushing the issue and trying to come back as quickly as possibly, Danks and Crain both need to recovery fully before making their way back to the mound.

While these injuries aren’t exactly the news Sox fans want to hear with just 11 days till Opening Day, the Sox training staff is arguably the best in the MLB, and I believe their pitchers won’t miss an extended amount of time.

Matt Malecha is a Chicago White Sox writer for Follow him on Twitter @MattMalecha and add him to your network on Google

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