Bad day for Crain
Not a good day for Jesse Crain. And not a good day for the White Sox.
The nonwaiver trade deadline is less than a week away, and Crain (shoulder strain) was hoping to come off the disabled list as early as Sunday.
That would have allowed the ace reliever (0.74 ERA) to pitch in a game or two before Wednesday, and you have to figure contending teams would have engaged in a bidding war to get Crain in a trade.
The way it looks now, Crain is still going to be on the DL when Wednesday’s 3 p.m. deadline rolls around.
After throwing off the mound Tuesday, Crain wasn’t feeling too hot yesterday. He was hoping to give it another go this morning at U.S. Cellular Field, but Crain wasn’t feeling up to another bullpen after doing some light throwing in the outfield.
“I felt improvement before I threw my bullpen (Tuesday),” said Crain, who hasn’t pitched in a game since June 29. “And after the bullpen I don't know. It definitely wasn't better today. I don't know. It's day by day. I don't know how it's going to feel the next day.
“Obviously, I wanted to be getting better and I obviously wanted to be able to pitch, that’s the most important thing. It's always discouraging when you work hard to get back, and it's not responding.”
The White Sox can still trade Crain in August but he would have to clear waivers, and that’s not likely to happen.
It’s a complicated system, but basically, American League teams (in order, worst to best) would get first crack at claiming the reliever if the Sox try pushing Crain through waivers.
There is little doubt Crain would be claimed by an AL team, and then it would be up to White Sox general manager Rick Hahn to work the best deal he can. And there is little doubt the Sox wouldn’t get as much for Crain in August as they would in July.
There is a slight chance the White Sox could deal a still injured Crain before Wednesday’s nonwaiver deadline, but the return would not be as great.