BOSTON -- The White Sox could soon add a veteran arm to the bullpen without having to make a trade.
Jesse Crain said he felt even stronger on Tuesday afternoon after he pitched in a simulated game than he did during Sundays bullpen session.
The right-hander, who is on the disabled list retroactive to June 24 with a right shoulder strain, thinks he could be ready for game action as soon as Sunday.
Now Crain will wait to see whether or not he begins a rehab assignment on Thursday or instead pitches another simulated game against his teammates.
Either way, White Sox manager Robin Ventura and pitching coach Don Cooper could have another experienced arm beyond Matt Thornton in the pen as soon as this weekend.
Adding a quality reliever to anybodys bullpen certainly is a boost, Cooper said. We are looking for him to provide that boost. He had a simulated game. It went well. We are going to talk about it and figure out what and where we are going to do with it on Thursday and then we will see where hes at and see if we can put him right back and hopefully it all works out Saturday. But we take it a day at a time because if he has a setback, well have to re-evaluate and come up with a new plan.
The plan called for Crain to throw 28 pitches on Tuesday and the right-hander said it went well. Crain, who entered this season with a 3.30 ERA in 443 career appearances, has 2.38 ERA in 24 games this season. He is pleased with how his rehab has gone thus far and only thinks he needs a little more fine tuning before hes ready.
(Tuesday) I even felt stronger, Crain said. I didnt get as fatigued at the end. Thats a good thing, I think. Its just getting stronger. Tomorrow give it a little rest again. If I do it again on Thursday, hopefully itll be that final 5-to-10 percent. Everything was great. I just want to get a little sharper on my slider.
Ventura is looking at the possibility of adding Crain and Gavin Floyd back into the mix on Sunday and Monday. Combined with the addition of Philip Humber on Tuesday, Venturas pitching staff would be loaded with experience compared with the current group.
We could be (close to full strength), Ventura said. Hopefully. Then Johnny (Danks) would be the only one were still waiting on. It would be nice to start getting guys back in familiar roles.