ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — The next step in Jesse Crain’s possible Tampa Bay Rays debut is a brief appearance in a Fall Instructional League game.
Rays manager Joe Maddon said the reliever, on the disabled list with a right shoulder strain, will throw 20 pitches Thursday afternoon in Sarasota, Fla. The team will decide the next step in Crain’s progress after the appearance.
“Twenty pitches is what we’re trying to get done tomorrow, then we’ll make the next determination after that,” Maddon said.
Crain threw about 30 pitches in a live batting practice session Monday. On Tuesday, Maddon said Crain felt “a little bit sore” after throwing but added the feeling was normal.
“That’s a good thing, not a bad thing,” Maddon said then.
Crain, 32, was acquired in a trade with the Chicago White Sox on July 29. He last appeared in a game June 29 against the Cleveland Indians, when he allowed one run and three hits in one inning.
“Time’s getting short, and I want to get out there as soon as we can,” Crain said Monday. “Where we’re at right now in the season, we probably want to get me out there as soon as possible. That move will be made as soon as we feel comfortable with it.”