Hip strain forces Canada's Crain out of Classic

White Sox reliever will rest, expects to be back on a mound in about a week

Hip strain forces Canada's Crain out of Classic

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Jesse Crain will not play for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic, pulling out of the tournament Monday due to a strained right adductor.

The 31-year-old White Sox reliever felt the injury a day or two after making his first Cactus League appearance last Monday in Scottsdale.

 

"It was something I was trying to get out of there and it didn't go all the way out," Crain said. "The right thing to do is if I'm not right and can't pitch, then I can't push myself to try to get there for the WBC. The more important thing is the season and the White Sox. I'm going to get myself healthy."

Spring Training has not been kind to Crain in his past two trips to Arizona. He suffered a right oblique strain in mid-March of 2012, which cost him about 10 days. Crain wasn't sure how long the adductor strain will sideline him in this instance.

"We are going to let it rest for a couple of days and hopefully the end of this week start throwing hard again," Crain said. "Hopefully I'll be [throwing] off the mound by this weekend or the beginning of next week."

"I'm not worried about it because we have the best in the business taking care of him," said White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper, referring to White Sox head athletic trainer Herm Schneider. "Jesse is smart enough to tell us when something is not feeling right. And we are going to take care of it now and nip it in the bud and hopefully it doesn't rise later."

Along with the Spring Training setback, Crain was on the disabled list from April 21 to May 14 last season with a strained left oblique and then again from June 24 to July 21 with a right shoulder strain. He battled through those setbacks to post a 2.44 ERA over 51 games, fanning 60 over 48 innings and limiting right-handed hitters to a .129 average (13-for-101).

Crain said the current injury only bothers him when he pitches and that he can do pretty much everything else. But in order to go full out, Crain knows that he needs to feel close to 100 percent.

"An injury like that, it can nag if you try to push through it," Crain said. "It will never heal and then you are dealing with it all year. We have to let it relax and get strong. It's like a strain. I have to let it recover so it won't be a hindrance the rest of the season."

That 2012 right oblique strain was something Crain never experienced before and the same goes for the right adductor strain. It is a disappointing situation since the Canadian-born Crain pitched in both the 2006 and 2009 World Baseball Classics.

"It's a blow, but we'll survive it," Team Canada manager Ernie Whitt said. "We have plenty of powerful arms in the bullpen, and we'll make do. I know Jesse wanted to be here, but he has to do what's best for himself and the White Sox."

But there doesn't seem to be worry about this injury ultimately hampering his preparation for the season, which marks the final run of Crain's three-year, $13 million deal with the White Sox.

"Get it knocked out early and then be ready to go hopefully within a week, the next week," said Crain, who fanned two Giants in his one spring appearance. "I'm not worried about it at all. I just want to get back out there and pitch and not go through what I had to go through last year with the freak thing."

"We've got plenty of time," Cooper said. "I'm not concerned as we speak. I'm not overly concerned."

 

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.