Although the John Danks injury tale is far from over, we at least got our temporary answer that finally put the speculation to rest. But just as that resolved itself, two more prominent White Sox' members have little question marks surrounding them: Alex Rios and Jesse Crain.
Alex Rios' Back
The newest of the White Sox nagging injuries is that of their star right fielder Alex Rios' back. Here's what we know … it's sore.
Some Sox faithful were quick to worry about this, as we've seen how back injuries can hamper players in the past (see Crede, Joe and Morel, Brent). Plus, Rios had a minor back flare up late last season that sidelined him for one ball game. But when he came back, he had what was maybe his worst 10-game stretch of the season. Alright, now that I have you more worried than you should be, it's important to point out the optimism that everyone closest to the situation has shown …
Early Tuesday afternoon, Rios told reporters that the issue is muscular and that he has "no worries" about Opening Day.
This statement falls in line with what he said on Monday, when he stated that he'd had that discomfort before in his career, and that it's just "normal stiffness."
So no, you shouldn't worry about this situation too much. But considering that Rios is 32 years old, was bugged by this issue last year, and hasn't played since last week, it's certainly a situation to monitor.
Jesse Crain's Hip
And we're back to the strained adductor of reliever Jesse Crain, which we've discussed plenty of late.
On Monday, Crain made just his 2nd Cactus League appearance of the spring, meeting his expected pitch count of 25 pitches in just 2/3 of an inning, letting up 3 earned runs (4 total). But more importantly, his velocity looked good and he says he felt fine after the appearance, despite being roughed up.
"The most important thing today was feeling good … he came out after 25 pitches, and I felt fine. My leg felt good," Crain told reporters.
Crain will make another appearance on Wendesday, which manager Robin Ventura has labeled as "big" for the 31 year-old Canadian reliever.
It's still remain to be seen if he'll be ready for Opening Day, but hey, that's why new GM Rick Hahn went out and got RP Matt Lindstrom in the offseason. Plus, Brian Omogrosso and Ramon Troncoso, as we've noted, are sufficient plug-in options if need be.