Crain making daily progress in injury rehab
PHILADELPHIA -- It has been an interesting first half for White Sox reliever Jesse Crain.
His 0.74 ERA over 38 games leaves the right-hander as one of the most dominant relievers in all of baseball. It was impressive enough to get Crain his first All-Star selection, as voted in by his peers.
But Crain also is in the last year of a three-year deal, and the impending free agent has heard his name in numerous trade rumors with the White Sox sitting out of playoff contention. All of those factors have been pushed aside, though, while Crain works his way back from a right shoulder strain that sent him to the disabled list retroactive to June 30.
"I'm not thinking about trades right now. I'm worried about getting healthy," Crain said. "That's kind of gone on the back burner. 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. That's one way of looking at it."
Crain played catch for a fourth straight day early Friday at Citizens Bank Park and reported that he has made progress each day. He's still trying to get the strength back and feel good when he throws, maintaining a day-to-day prognosis to see how he feels.
An original goal at the time of the injury was for Crain to return right after the All-Star break. That might not be possible, especially with White Sox manager Robin Ventura looking for Crain to go on a Minor League rehab assignment.
"You want him to pitch in a game. The adrenaline is different than side work, so it's like [injured starting pitcher] Jake [Peavy]," Ventura said. "Last year, he did it that way. I think he threw a simulated game in Toronto and felt it was good enough. It's one of those to make sure he's right."
"I feel when I'm healthy I can throw a simulated game and be ready to compete, but that's not my decision," Crain said. "I'll wait until I'm at that point until we decide."
With a little pain still existing when Crain throws, he's on the border of throwing to get better but not pushing the injury too far.
"Hopefully, every day gets better," Crain said. "It has, but not yet where I want to push it."
Durable Ramirez ready to get back on the field
PHILADELPHIA -- Alexei Ramirez left Thursday's victory over the Tigers in the sixth inning with severe cramping in his right leg, but he was back in the starting lineup for Friday's series opener against the Phillies that was postponed by rain.
"I feel really good today," said Ramirez through translator and White Sox coach Lino Diaz. "I've always said that a day I can't play is because I really can't play.
"That's how I felt yesterday. I'm ready. I feel like the treatment yesterday with cold water and some other things I did with [White Sox head athletic trainer] Herm [Schneider] helped out a lot."
Ramirez has played in all 89 games this season, after playing in 158 games during each of the last two seasons and 156 games in 2010. Playing all 162 games is not really a goal for the White Sox shortstop. It's simply the way he approaches the game, allowing the team to use its starting second baseman in Gordon Beckham as the backup to the dependable Ramirez.
"When I wake up every day, I'm ready to play. I want to play," Ramirez said. "That's what I was born for. I don't necessarily feel like it's one of my goals, but I want to play every day."
Third to first
• Former White Sox slugger Greg Luzinski and one-time White Sox catcher Ben Davis were pregame visitors in the White Sox clubhouse on Friday.
• Right-handed reliever Brian Omogrosso has been placed on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to June 29 with a right triceps strain. Omogrosso has not pitched for Triple-A Charlotte since being optioned on June 28 and must be placed on the Major League DL. The White Sox have used the disabled list 11 times in 2013, compared to 13 in 2012.
• MLB Network will broadcast an hour-long documentary on White Sox television play-by-play announcer Ken "Hawk" Harrelson on July 18, beginning at 6 p.m. CT. Bob Costas narrates "Hawk: The Colorful Life of Ken Harrelson," chronicling Harrelson's 50 years as a MLB player, general manager and broadcaster. Harrelson is in his 29th season broadcasting for the White Sox.
• The White Sox are hitting .291 with runners in scoring position since June 1, ranking second in the American League in that span, and third overall in Major League Baseball.
• Ventura doesn't see any lingering bad blood between his team and the Tigers because of Thursday's benches-clearing argument.
"It's just baseball," Ventura said. "Part of competition is all that kind of stuff, but I don't see anything coming out of it."