Jesse Crain’s new treatment plan means his next bullpen session won’t take place until after the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline.
The right-hander, who has been on the 15-day disabled list since July 3 with a strained right shoulder, will rest for four to five days before he resumes any activity. With it almost impossible for the White Sox reliever to get back on the mound for a last-minute showcase before the deadline, Crain said the team has opted to take his recovery a little slower.
“Our program coming back into it will be a little more conservative,” Crain said. “We won’t try to throw a ‘pen probably as soon as we did (before). Everybody was trying. Obviously we wanted to be ready before the deadline. So we might have thrown a ‘pen a couple days before maybe I would (have), or at least this time we’ll probably take a little more time getting to that step.”
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Crain set a franchise-record this season with 29 straight scoreless appearances. He compiled a 0.74 ERA on the way to making his first All-Star team.
A free agent after the season, Crain is thought to be the best reliever available on the market, if healthy.
An injury would appear to sap his value because it’s more likely most teams would want to acquire Crain after he returns and shows he’s healthy. But after July 31, Crain would only be available to all teams after he cleared waivers, which would seem highly unlikely. In the instance he were claimed, the White Sox would have to trade him to the claiming team or pull him back off waivers.
Even though he’s hurt, one ESPN report suggests Crain could still be traded before the deadline on a conditional deal, the return being based on the number of appearances he makes.
Crain doesn’t think the idea is far-fetched.
But he just plans to worry about getting back on the mound.
“Just let it rest,” Crain said. “Just take four or five days off, start throwing again next week, let it calm down and see where it goes from there.”