The Chicago White Sox are still in fourth place in the American League Central. But if it wasn’t for the way Jesse Crain has pitched out of the bullpen this season, the Pale Hose would likely be dead last in the American League.
Crain was credited with a hold in last night’s win against the Boston Red Sox, and it was also his 18th straight scoreless appearance. He has already earned 1.0 fWAR on the season, which is better than two of the White Sox’ starters.
The reason why Crain has been so productive thus far is due to his ability to leave runners on base. Coming into today, Crain’s LOB rate is a staggering 91.7 percent — that number does not include inherited runners that Crain normally has to deal with, like the bases-loaded jam that he got out of last night.
While it would be great seeing Crain anchor the bullpen for a playoff push, one has to look at his success in terms of raising his trade value come July. Middle relief is by far one of the most sought-after commodities at the deadline. Heck, even mediocre ones are moved at a premium price because teams are desperate.
Therefore, even if the White Sox are out of the race come July — which isn’t a given at this point anymore — Crain could net them a nice package if he continues to pitch this well.
Nevertheless, when the White Sox acquired Crain in free agency, many people were not a fan of it at the time. I mean, when your nickname was “Crainwreck”, it’s hard to be optimistic about someone. However, Crain has been everything but a wreck in the Sox’ bullpen.