The likelihood Jesse Crain would be moved before the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline took a hit on Thursday morning.
The White Sox reliever doesn’t feel he has progressed enough to throw in a bullpen session, which is likely to delay his return.
Crain has been on the 15-day disabled list since July 3 with a right shoulder strain. The White Sox hoped he’d take the next step in his recovery and throw a sideline before Thursday’s game and then he’d be able to return to the mound by Sunday for a showcase before the deadline.
If healthy, Crain, who established a franchise record with 29 straight scoreless appearances earlier this season, is the top available reliever on the trade market.
It was almost certain Crain, a free agent after this season, would be dealt before next Wednesday’s deadline.
For now, however, what’s next for Crain is up in the air.
“He just needs more time,” pitching coach Don Cooper said. “It didn’t happen (Thursday). I guess I would call it a slight setback because we had a sideline the other day and we were hoping to climb from there and he just wasn’t feeling up to it.
You move forward and he goes back in and talks to (trainer Herm Schneider) and talks to our people and figure out what’s the plan now for him. I’m not sure what that plan is, but right now it’s not throwing sidelines.”
Crain said he’s still going day-by-day.
The White Sox reliever, who made the All-Star team this season for the first time, thought he had improved. But he said he didn’t feel right while he played catch on Thursday morning. Crain last threw a bullpen session on Tuesday.
“Not as good as I wanted to,” Crain said. “I’d rather be throwing in the pen and wasn’t up to it today. It’s still a process, day by day. Hopefully it starts to feel better. … I’m not sure. I felt improvement before I threw my bullpen. And after the bullpen I don’t know. It definitely wasn’t better today.”
Crain said the next step might be more rest.
“It might be the next course,” Crain said. “If there was an exact answer of how to fix it, we’d be doing it. You got to go be feel and take it from there. … Obviously I wanted to be getting better and I obviously wanted to be able to pitch, the most important thing. It’s always discouraging when you work hard to get back, and it’s not responding.”