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Saturday, February 1, 2014

Astros' Jesse Crain expects to be ready by mid-April

By on 2/01/2014 07:15:00 PM

Houston Astros reliever Jesse Crain expects to begin his throwing program on Monday, February 3, as he prepares to return from offseason biceps surgery. He has not thrown a baseball since that surgery in October, so this is a huge step in his recovery. Still, though, he understands that he may not be fully ready to pitch in a regular-season game right away.

By Keith Allison, via Wikimedia Commons
The Houston Chronicle's Joseph Duarte reports that Crain considers it unlikely that he will pitch on Opening Day, April 1, or in the early part of the month. He feels that the middle of the month is more realistic.

Crain will begin playing catch on Monday, and after some evaluation, he should start throwing off a mound as the Astros open Spring Training. He does not expect to pitch in any exhibition games until later in March, but he feels that if he can pitch by the end of camp, then he has a very good chance of making that mid-April date to make the 25-man roster. Much of it depends on how he feels. Said Crain, 
"I’m not planning on [Opening Day]. I would be surprised if I was ready by then. We’ll go on how I feel. My real goal is to be able to throw in at least a game or two in spring training. If I can get to that point, I’m really close. If it’s not the beginning of the season it will be a week or two after.”
Crain was one of the best relievers in the first half of 2013 at 2-4, 0.74 ERA, 1.115 WHIP, and 11.3 K/9 ratio with the White Sox. His season ended on July 2 with the strained biceps. The White Sox traded him to Tampa Bay, but he did not return to help the Rays as they had hoped. In December, Crain signed a one-year, $3.25 million contract with Houston for 2014.

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