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Insurance in Place for Nagging Injury Woes

At this point in time, it seems like the White Sox are blessed with a pretty good deal of health. Considering how long the MLB regular season is, that's something you need to be able to say in Spring Training.

There are, however, a few nagging minor injuries that warrant a little bit of worry. Though they're nothing to get too worked up about quite yet, that's thanks large-in-part to the depth the team has behind those guys; particularly, Jesse Crain and Jeff Keppinger.


Jesse Crain's Hip & Past Injuries

As most of you probably know, a hip injury kept Jesse Crain out of the World Baseball Classic (team Canada) a couple weeks ago. Specifically, it was a strained adductor muscle, different from the oblique injury that sidelined him for a while in 2012.

Though nobody considers it to be an injury that'll effect him starting the season with the White Sox, it's definitely worth noting considering his ongoing injury battles last season. Even though it's just a minor injury that'll most likely be all forgotten by the beginning of April, it's nice knowing that the team has backup options in place …

First, you have to remember that the team does have three other very capable righties in the bullpen: Addison Reed, Matt Lindstrom, and Nate Jones. Thanks to Reed and Jones' emergence last season and General Manager Rick Hahn bringing in Lindstrom, even if Crain does have to be used lightly at any times, there won't be too big of a hole left vacant.

There are also options that'll be in place in AAA: Brain Omogrosso, Jhan Marinez, and Duente Heath … and probably in that order, too. Each of the hard-throwing righties saw action in the big leagues last season, led by Omogrosso (28), who had a 2.57 ERA through 21 IP. Marinez is also of note, as he's one of the organization's top reliever prospects at the ripe age of 24.


Jeff Keppinger's Shoulder

Before the White Sox signed 32 year-old free agent infielder Jeff Keppinger this winter, the veteran fell down some stairs in his house, breaking his right fibula and ultimately requiring surgery to fix the issue.

While he recovered nicely from that injury, he's been battling a sore shoulder this spring – an injury that is slowly starting to worry some, at least a little bit, closest to the team. Kepp is having a phenomenal spring, hitting well over .400 with 0 strike outs in over 20 at-bats … both numbers that are more reason for optimism.

It's been made clear that there's no reason to think it's anything serious, but it's especially encouraging that the team has options to fill the void in case it does linger longer than we are now anticipating it will, as he's expected to be back in action by week's end.

The versatile veteran is expected to see most of his action at 3rd base, and luckily the Sox have Angel Sanchez, Brent Morel, and Conor Gillaspie who are all capable of filling that void.

Through 12 games this spring, the newly acquired Gillaspie (25) is hitting .333 with 5 XBH and 8 RBI. Gillaspie is a former sanwich round pick who the team acquired from San Francisco not long ago. Considering he hits from the left side, where the White Sox are thin, he could very well be the no.1 insurance option for 3B.

Unlike with the bullpen situation, insuring third base may not involve calling up anyone from the minor leagues.

Right now, it seems that the team has 2 roster spots still open, with Gillaspie, Morel, and Sanchez, competing for those 2 spots along with outfielders Jared Mitchell, Jordan Danks, and Blake Tekotte. So, there's a good chance at least one capable third baseman (likely Gillaspie or A.Sanchez) will already be on the Sox' bench.


The main message to take from all of this, though, is that we're merely monitoring situations that have a small potential to become worrisome … they're still very far away from becoming big problems.

Zachary Gropper

About Zachary Gropper

Zach is the Managing Editor of GrabSomeBench.com, and you can follow him on Twitter @zmgrop.

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