Originally written on MLB Injury News  |  Last updated 10/21/14
Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Jesse Crain has yet to appear in a game for his new team since acquired from the Chicago White Sox at the July 31 trade deadline. Rays manager Joe Maddon, though, feels that Crain can still become a factor in whether or not the Rays make it to the postseason. MLB.com's Patrick Donnelly reports that Crain threw a 50-pitch bullpen session on Friday, and Maddon considers that session a huge step in Crain's recovery from right shoulder strain. Fifty pitches is a very large number for a reliever who has fewer innings pitched (36.2) than appearances (38). Friday's bullpen session was Crain's third, and Maddon said that if Crain feels well on Saturday, then he will step up to an undisclosed drill. Said Maddon, "[Trainer] Ronny [Porterfield] said he did really well. We'll see how he feels [Saturday], and then if he feels well, then we'll set up the next part of the plan. We have an idea of what that's going to be, and I'll tell you all tomorrow after we find out that he feels well." Donnelly believes that Crain may have "tipped his hand" when asked about what he will do next. Donnelly quotes the right hander as saying, "The last step is when hitters are in there. You put a little more on it, so that'll probably be the last hurdle to go for." Crain figures to throw again on Monday, and if it goes as well as predicted, he could see game action as early as Wednesday, September 18, when the Rays host the Texas Rangers in attempt to move into the top A.L. Wild Card position. The Rays currently trail Texas by one game for that top wild card position but lead by 1.5 games over Cleveland for the second spot. The top wild card winner plays the play-in game at home, so the four-game Rays/Rangers series, which begins Monday, will very likely determine which position the Rays win. Crain is 2-3 with a 0.74 ERA in 38 relief appearances, all for the White Sox. If he can pitch even half as well when he returns, then the Rays, who have struggled of late, will get a big boost toward their playoff run. Follow Raymond on Twitter @RayBureau. Like Raymond’s “Baseball Bureau” page on Facebook. Follow @mlbinjurynews Looking for fantasy baseball advice?
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Army football enticed recruits with alcohol, women

Report: Kobe viewed Dwight Howard's departure as 'positive'

Lions suspend CJ Mosley, send him home from London

Federal judge blocks New Jersey sports betting law

Report: Bucs sign Gerald McCoy to seven-year extension

Tim Tebow lectures Florida fans about booing

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Shonn Greene arrested after parking in handicap spot

Report: Joe Maddon wants a very hefty salary

Memorabilia dealer at center of Todd Gurley scandal fired

Colt McCoy on learning he was starting ‘it’s about f—ing time’

Four Questions for Game 3 of the World Series

Percy Harvin not planning on changing

WATCH: Kentucky DB Blake McClain lays out Miss. St. WR

WATCH: Dwyane Wade videobombs himself

GRAPHIC: Cam Atkinson shows how close he was to losing eye

WATCH: 350-pound Arkansas lineman throws TD pass

Penn State fans blew air horns outside Ohio State's hotel?

WATCH: Oregon's Charles Nelson has impressive punt return TD

WATCH: American flag rips during Game 3 national anthem

WATCH: Tony Parker draws foul by simply yelling 'hey'

Video: Tom Izzo takes the stage with KISS on Midnight Madness

Eight NFL records that won’t be broken for a long time

Big trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks, possibly more

Blazers, Seahawks owner Paul Allen gives $100M to fight ebola

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Report: Army enticed recruits with alcohol, women

Penn State fans blew air horn at Ohio State players' hotel?

Tim Tebow lectures Florida fans

Trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

NBA Replay Center debuts next week

World Series win = Giants dynasty?

Reliving the worst college football game of the last 10 years

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.