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Will Crain's oblique force a roster move?

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Jesse Crain
Jesse Crain

Jesse Crain has not pitched since last Friday against the Mariners due to another oblique injury. This time, though, it's his left side, not the right side that caused him to miss a week and a half during spring training. Crain is optimistic that the issue will clear up in the next couple days but oblique injuries are notoriously persistent and unpredictable.

A player may be placed on the disabled list retroactive to an earlier date up to 10 days prior. Crain's last appearance lets the White Sox delay their decision until early next week. And with the bullpen only working 0.2 IP against the Athletics until today's game, it looked like the White Sox could remain cautious with Crain.

However, with the extra innings game this afternoon, having a short(er) bullpen may become problematic if Philip Humber doesn't go deep into the game tomorrow night against the Red Sox. And one can question how much Humber may have in the tank after his perfect game, the hoopla following his perfect game and the recent birth of his first child.

This makes Crain's bullpen session before tomorrow's game more important than it looked 14 innings ago. Now, if Crain doesn't feel right, the White Sox probably can't wait on him any longer and should look to their minor leagues for some depth. Charlotte's bullpen is well-rested and the full spread of right-handed relief options - Brian Bruney and Jhan Marinez most notably - would be fresh; Dylan Axelrod would also be on full rest since his last start. Their numbers so far in 2012:

Bruney: 7 G, 10 IP, 3 H, 6 BB, 11 K

Marinez: 5 G, 9.1 IP, 2 H, 7 BB, 12 K

Axelrod: 4 GS, 25 IP, 19 H, 4 BB, 26 K