White Sox notes: Crain may not be ready for Opening Day

White Sox notes: Crain may not be ready for Opening Day

March 21, 2013, 12:30 pm
Share This Post

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jesse Crain is discouraged by his current state and so too is his team.

The White Sox pitcher has worked hard to recover from a strained adductor muscle (hip) but it hasn’t recovered as much as he’d like.

Crain began to experience discomfort after 10 pitches in a one-inning appearance on Wednesday and isn’t sure whether he’ll be ready in time for Opening Day, which is now just 11 days away. The right-hander threw 23 pitches against Los Angeles Dodgers minor leaguers but said the velocity of his last dozen was affected by the injury.

“I wouldn’t say pain,” Crain said. “But it was something that was affecting me, wouldn’t allow me to finish my pitches and put as much on it as I normally would. It was frustrating just because it’s been about three weeks, so I’m battling through it and not all the way there yet. Hopefully it’s part of the process of it healing and just got fatigued and just needs to get stronger.”

[RELATED: Danks to start the season on DL]

White Sox manager Robin Ventura said he’s worried about the reliever enough that the team has began to take stock of its options. Reliever Brian Omogrosso, who is on the team’s 40-man roster, has a 0.00 ERA in 10 2/3 innings this spring.

Nonroster invitees Ramon Troncoso (1.69 ERA in 10 2/3 innings) and David Purcey (3.38 ERA) also have pitched well but would have to be transferred to the club’s 40-man roster to be eligible.

“(Crain) went out and threw and it’s the same stuff,” Ventura said. “He still feels something there so you’re cautious enough to where you’re concerned about sending him back out and see how he’s going to do. There is a possibility he does start on the DL. It’s enough of a concern to start thinking we might have to have some other options.”

Crain -- who was 2-3 with a 2.44 ERA in 51 games last season -- has been limited to one major league appearance this spring. The hip injury also kept him from pitching for Canada in the World Baseball Classic.

[More: White Sox expecting big things out of Viciedo]

He was on the DL twice last season, once with a strained left oblique and once with a right shoulder strain.

The tricky part to his current injury, he said, is he isn’t affected by it unless he’s pitching. Throwing on flat ground hasn’t been a problem. The only way for Crain to determine how he really feels is to throw off the mound. He isn’t sure when he’ll pitch again though there’s a possibility he would go Saturday.

“(We’re) trying to find the balance of what’s doing it enough and what’s making it stronger, to what’s what,” Crain said. “I don’t want to do it and keep aggravating it and it doesn’t heal. Trying to find that balance now.”

Danks, Tekotte optioned

The White Sox optioned outfielders Blake Tekotte and Jordan Danks to Triple-A Charlotte after Thursday’s game. The team has only 34 players left in big league camp, including just four outfielders: Alex Rios, Alejandro De Aza, Dewayne Wise and Dayan Viciedo.

Danks hit .351 with two homers and nine RBIs in 37 at-bats. Tekotte batted .222 with four RBIs in 36 at-bats.

Sale efficient

After he threw only 74 or 75 pitches in his start Thursday starter Chris Sale headed to the bullpen to throw 25 more. The left-hander was very efficient in his final full start of the spring as he limited the Milwaukee Brewers to three runs and four hits in seven innings. He walked one and struck out three batters.

“That was close to a complete game right there,” Sale said. “Pitch count was down, that's what you shoot for. I'm not going to be as sore the next day and will bounce back a little quicker. … I feel loose, and I feel like my arm is bouncing back the way I want it to.”


-- Jeff Keppinger reached base in nine straight plate appearances until he grounded out in his second at-bat on Thursday. Keppinger homered and scored and drove in two runs in three at-bats. He raised his spring average to .516.

-- Gordon Beckham hit a two-run home run, his third of the spring, in three at-bats. Beckham is hitting .278 with three homers and nine RBIs.

-- Matt Lindstrom pitched two innings in a minor-league game and Nate Jones had an extended inning. Pitching coach Don Cooper said both had “very good workouts.”

-- Adam Dunn went 2-for-3 and now has five of his nine hits this spring in his last 12 at-bats.

-- Relievers Addison Reed and Matt Thornton each pitched one scoreless inning in the team’s 8-3 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.