Crain on comeback trail; Sale says he's sorry
We're just over a week away from the July 31 nonwaiver trade deadline, and things are getting interesting on the South Side.
Reliever Jesse Crain is on the disabled list with a strained right shoulder and hasn't pitched since June 29.
The ace setup man, who has a 0.74 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 36.2 innings, threw a bullpen for the first time Tuesday and could be back on the mound for the White Sox on Sunday or Monday.
"He felt good," Sox pitching coach Don Cooper said after Crain threw 33 pitches. "The juggling act for us today was it was his first time on the mound. We want to do enough work without doing too much. We want to do it to the point where he's maybe a tad fatigued, making sure you've got that good workout in and feel good before, during and after."
If Crain feels good tomorrow, he's likely to throw another bullpen Thursday. It doesn't sound like he's going to do a minor-league rehab assignment.
"We did that already," Cooper said. "He threw a simulated game in Boston last year. I'll put it this way, how many innings did he have in spring training? One. And here we go, he was off to another better year. He's a veteran guy and it's not like you have to give him a lot of innings to get ready for the season because we've lived that."
If Crain is ready early next week, the Sox will have a few games to showcase the right-hander before the trade deadline. And if Crain is effective, the White Sox should land a quality prospect or two in a trade from a contending team like the Red Sox or Braves.
-Chris Sale wigged out big-time in Monday night's start against the Tigers.
Sale wasn't happy about having to intentionally walk the dangerous Miguel Cabrera in the fifth inning, and he proceeded to walk Detroit's next hitter, Prince Fielder, and yield a 2-run single to Victor Martinez.
After the loss, Sale was asked if he was disappointed by manager Robin Ventura's decision to give Cabrera a free pass.
"A little bit," he said. "I don't like giving people stuff. I like people to earn getting on base. But at the end of the day that's his (Ventura's) call."
Before Tuesday's game, Sale apologized to Ventura.
“I was pretty embarrassed with how I reacted to that last night,” Sale said. “I went in there and apologized to him for acting like that. No matter how confident I am in myself for what I think might be right, at the end of the day, it's his call. I have to respect that and learn from my experiences - good, bad or indifferent. Learn from it and move forward.”