GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jesse Crain believes he’s closer than two weeks from being ready.
That’s the amount of time the White Sox right-hander would have to spend on the disabled list if the team chooses to sideline him because at this point he can’t have his injury backdated.
The reliever, who has been limited to three major league appearances this spring with a strained adductor (hip), is the top candidate for the lone spot left on the White Sox 25-man roster. Manager Robin Ventura confirmed after Wednesday’s 5-4 win over the Cleveland Indians his roster has been set.
Crain’s status is up in the air --- but decidedly better than two days earlier --- after he gave up hits to three of the first four batters he faced. He also unleashed a wild pitch and allowed two runs to score. But Crain closed his appearance with a strikeout and a groundout.
“I don't feel like I'm two weeks away from my normal form,” Crain said. “I feel like I'm a lot closer than that. But that's a decision they have to make. Hopefully I go out there Friday and put everything together obviously feeling good and getting guys out.”
The right-hander is also expected to pitch in the team’s exhibition Friday at Milwaukee. Ventura said he’s encouraged by Crain’s progress.
“We’ll check him again tomorrow, but he said he feels fine, which is good,” Ventura said. “It looks more on the positive side than the other way. There’s still one more game, then we’ll feel pretty good about it.”
Ventura confirmed third baseman Conor Gillaspie, who was acquired in a Feb. 22 trade from the San Francisco Giants, has made the club. Gillaspie rounds out a bench that includes backup catcher Hector Gimenez, utility man Angel Sanchez and outfielder Dewayne Wise.
Ramirez leaves game early
Ventura’s worst nightmare nearly happened when shortstop Alexei Ramirez exited Wednesday’s game early after a pitch struck him on the right shoulder in a second-inning plate appearance.
Ramirez hit the ground hard after Daisuke Matsuzaka’s pitch hit him and he grabbed his right shoulder before heading to the dugout.
Ramirez has been diagnosed with a right shoulder bruise and is listed as day-to-day.
“It’s just one of those that got him in the biceps and he should be all right,” Ventura said. “Any time you get one of those, especially the last couple days of spring, it makes you think and make sure everyone gets out of here feeling good.”
-- Forbes Magazine rated the White Sox as the 11th most valuable club in the majors at $692 million in its annual valuations. The Sox had an operating income of $22.9 million last season per Forbes.
-- The club drew 90,729 fans to Camelback Ranch this spring, an average of 6,049 per game.
-- Relievers Brian Omogrosso and Matt Thornton each pitched a scoreless inning in Wednesday’s win. Omogrosso pitched 12 1/3 scoreless innings this spring.
-- Utility man Angel Sanchez homered in a second straight game, a two-run shot, and doubled in three at-bats. He scored twice and hit .350 this spring.
-- Gordon Beckham singled in a run in two at-bats. He finished Cactus League play with a .299 average and 11 RBIs.