Crain nearing return to Sox bullpen

Crain nearing return to Sox bullpen
May 14, 2012, 10:33 pm
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By Paul Latour contributor

Jesse Crain is back in the White Sox fold, but its still not completely clear when hell rejoin the bullpen.

The Sox are expected to activate him following tonights series opener against Detroit at U.S. Cellular Field. Theyll need to make a corresponding roster move to do that.

Fresh from a two-appearance rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Charlotte, Crain said the strained left oblique feels good.

Those two outings down there showed me that I was over it, and couldnt feel it at all, Crain said.

Crain, a 30-year-old right-hander, was placed on the 15-day disabled list April 27, retroactive to April 21. He hasnt pitched for Chicago since April 20 at Seattle.

He made two strong appearances with Charlotte over the weekend. On Friday, he worked one scoreless inning, throwing 21 pitches (14 strikes). Crain needed only nine pitches to get through one perfect inning with two strikeouts in Sundays rehab start.

It was good to get out there Sunday to make sure everything was good to go, Crain said. You want to get out there and throw normal, but I was kind of killing two birds with one stone. Making sure I felt good, most importantly, but also feeling good mechanically and arm-wise. Sunday I was even more crisp than I was on Friday.

Crain will likely join the bullpen Tuesday for the conclusion of the short series with the Tigers. But manager Robin Ventura sounded less optimistic.

I think it could be a couple more days for him to come back, Ventura said.

Crain is 0-0 with a 2.57 ERA, two holds and 10 strikeouts over six games this season with the Sox. Hes allowed two earned runs in seven innings of work.