Jesse Crain playing catch, but shoulder is still sore
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org July 13, 2013 1:30AM
SOX AT PHILLIES
The facts: Game 1, 2:05 p.m., CSN, 670-AM, 97.5-FM. Game 2, 7:15 p.m., CSN, 670-AM, 97.5-FM.
The starters: Game 1, John Danks (2-6, 4.31 ERA) vs. Jonathan Pettibone (5-3, 3.84). Game 2, Hector Santiago (3-5, 3.49) vs. John Lannan (2-3, 4.23).
PHILADELPHIA — Jesse Crain’s right shoulder is still a bit sore, meaning he might not be ready when his time on the disabled list is up after the All-Star break.
It also ensures that he’ll stick around with the White Sox a little longer.
One of general manager Rick Hahn’s attractive trading chips before the non-waiver trade deadline July 31, Crain won’t be of much value until he’s healthy.
This likely will be Crain’s last season with the Sox, and what a roller-coaster year it has been. Crain battled through a strained adductor during spring training, then made 29 consecutive scoreless appearances for a last-place team. Then his shoulder started barking at him, in his words, due to exerting maximum effort in so many key situations.
He was named to the American League All-Star team for the first time in his excellent career Sunday, running the gamut on highs, lows and his current in-between status. He doesn’t know where he’ll be during the second half of the season or next year after his contract expires.
“There’s a lot going on,’’ Crain said Friday, when the White Sox-Phillies game was postponed by rain. “I don’t want to be injured. I’m not thinking about trades right now. I’m worried about getting healthy. That’s kind of gone on the backburner. I’m not worried about that or free agency. I’m worried about getting better and making my arm better. That’s quieted all the other fronts.’’
Crain played catch for the fourth consecutive day, stretching to almost 100 feet, but he wasn’t able to push it.
‘‘It’s still a little bit of pain in there when I throw, so I just have to take it and see how it feels every day, and hopefully every day gets better.’’ Crain said. “It has, but not yet where I want to push it.’’
Manager Robin Ventura said Crain will need to make a minor-league rehab appearance before returning to the Sox.
Beckham: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it
Ventura is content to leave Gordon Beckham batting eighth, even though the second baseman is hitting .400 with six extra-base hits in the last 17 games.
“Alexei has been doing fine [batting second], too,’’ Ventura said. “You kind of don’t mess with it. If it’s working, you let them stay there.’’
“They have a reason for having me down there. That’s not my call,’’ Beckham said. “I’m not worried about anything except having good at-bats. Everything else is unimportant to me.’’
Batting eighth isn’t the worst thing in the world, Beckham said.
“Hitting down in the order, you get to watch some at-bats and see what pitches they’re throwing. It makes it a little easier to slide into the game when you’re down in the order.’’
Ramirez’s leg OK
Alexei Ramirez, who left the game Thursday with cramping in his right leg, was penciled into the lineup Friday.
“He wants to play every day, he comes ready to play every day, so you leave it in his hands,’’ Ventura said.
Sox starting pitchers entered Friday ranked second in the league in opponents batting average (.248) and third in strikeouts-to-walk ratio (3.09) and WHIP (1.23).