Jesse Crain makes White Sox’ Opening Day roster
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org March 30, 2013 9:12PM
Updated: May 1, 2013 4:03PM
MILWAUKEE — The last roster question was answered Saturday when reliever Jesse Crain felt no discomfort after working an inning Friday against the Brewers.
‘‘Everything’s good, so he made the team,’’ manager Robin Ventura said. ‘‘It’s a big hurdle for us to get over as far as making a decision on him. He’s available for Monday [the season opener against the Royals].’’
Crain had been hampered by a right adductor strain but pitched several times in the last few days.
‘‘The last couple [of appearances] in Arizona, he was tentative when he went out there, but [Friday night] he looked like you would think as far as his effort and velocity,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘For me, it was a comforting inning to watch him pitch.’’
Crain is a big part of the Sox’ bullpen plans as the veteran right-handed setup man to complement lefty Matt Thornton.
‘‘He was a big part of it last year,’’ Ventura said. ‘‘Last year, we missed not having Jesse at the start of the year [with a strained oblique]. It did progress [Nate] Jones as far as his development, being thrown into a situation he normally wouldn’t be thrown into, but that was the situation we were in. Nate ended up kind of getting thrown in the fire pretty quickly.’’
Jones, Crain, Matt Lindstrom and closer Addison Reed will be the bullpen righties. The lefties will be Thornton, Donnie Veal and Hector Santiago.
Lefty is all right
Santiago couldn’t have asked for a better final tune-up than Friday’s three perfect innings in which he struck out five and walked none.
‘‘No walks — that stuff is a plus,’’ he said Saturday. ‘‘The last few days in spring training I was trying to get everything back on track, throwing every pitch with the same mechanics. Everything was there [Friday], where I wanted it to be.’’
Santiago is slated for relief work as the bullpen ‘‘everyman’’ but is a ready rotation backup.
‘‘Because I’m the long guy,’’ he said, ‘‘I’ll be the guy who might finish a game and then go long the next time. I just have to be prepared and work on all my stuff.’’
Santiago made 42 appearances and four starts last season, going 4-1 with a 3.33 ERA.
BREWERS 5, WHITE SOX 4
FINAL NUMBERS: Adam Dunn hit his fourth home run Saturday, but the Sox fell to the Brewers. Dunn finished the spring hitting .254 with 13 RBI, and 17 strikeouts to 11 walks. The rest of the projected starters: Alejandro De Aza hit .306 after a 2-for-2 Saturday, Jeff Keppinger hit .412, Alex Rios hit .381, Paul Konerko hit .338, Dayan Viciedo hit .284, Alexei Ramirez hit .279, Tyler Flowers hit .261 and Gordon Beckham hit .310.
ON THE MOUND: Gavin Floyd went one inning in his final outing, giving up two hits, one of them a homer by Rickie Weeks. Norichika Aoki scored ahead of Weeks after reaching on an error by Beckham, only his second of the spring. Floyd struck out two and walked one. Dylan Axelrod got the majority of work, going 52/3 innings in preparation for the fifth-starter role. He was charged with three runs in the eighth, his last inning, when he gave up three hits, including two doubles, all scoring. Until then, he had given up five hits and a walk with three strikeouts. He finished the spring 2-2 with a 3.66 ERA. ‘‘I threw a lot of pitches , and that was my goal,’’ he said. ‘‘It felt pretty good.’’ He’ll have six days off before his first start on Saturday against the Mariners.
ROSTER MOVES: With Jesse Crain making the roster, Brian Omogrosso was optioned to Class AAA Charlotte. Reassigned to minor-league rosters were catcher Bryan Anderson, pitchers Jeff Gray and Ramon Troncoso and infielders Josh Bell and Steve Tolleson to complete the 25-man roster.
EASTER SERVICE: The Sox will hold a morning workout Sunday at U.S. Cellular Field before the home opener Monday against the Royals at 3:10.