Ailing Crain, Konerko land on 15-day disabled list
CHICAGO -- In a season filled with disappointing news, the White Sox got a heavy dose on Wednesday, when both first baseman/designated hitter Paul Konerko and setup man Jesse Crain were placed on the disabled list.
Konerko, a fixture in the heart of the White Sox lineup during his 15 years with the club, is making just his third trip to the DL, this time with a lower back strain. Crain, perhaps Chicago's most consistent player this season, heads to the DL with a right shoulder strain, similar to the one that set him back almost exactly a year ago.
"Even last year, you had moments where you have injuries and you have to fill them," White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. "You get guys who can come in and fill in until they come back. You make due."
The team recalled third baseman Brent Morel from Triple-A Charlotte and purchased the contract of left-hander David Purcey from Charlotte to fill the two spots on the roster.
Crain, who was a leading candidate to be Chicago's All-Star Game representative, has a 0.74 ERA and 46 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings over 38 appearances. He has allowed just three earned runs and leads American League relievers in ERA, is second with 19 holds, tied for seventh in appearances and ninth in strikeouts. He set a franchise record when he made 29 consecutive scoreless appearances from April 17-June 22.
Crain said his arm didn't feel good playing catch before Tuesday's game, but hoped it would be better if he got loose during the game. He warmed in the seventh, but sat down after also throwing a few breaking balls and not feeling right.
"I just think it started happening from the work I've been doing and throwing a lot and I think it's finally started getting tired," Crain said. "And it's sort of like last year. When it gets tired, I think that's what my arm does, it get strained."
Crain was placed on the DL on July 4 of last year, also with a right shoulder strain.
"A year to the day I had an MRI, which is pretty crazy," Crain said. "But I guess it's similar. I wish I could explain it. I wish I had a way to figure out why it does it. But I think [it's] from throwing a lot. And when I go out there, I go all in. Every game I go in, every pitch is important, so I just think it finally took its toll on me and I just got it strained and hopefully I can be back in two weeks."
Konerko missed the first six games of the current homestand, then played in the series opener against the Orioles on Tuesday. He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
"As a player, you get to a point where you think you're OK, you're kind of out of the woods," Ventura said. "And I think he would admit it, you let yourself think you're feeling pretty good, you go in the cage and swing, and it's just different. The adrenaline sometimes helps you, because you're going to go play in the game and you think it's going to be better and it doesn't.
"It kind of works against you, because all of the progress that you've made in those four days, you lose once you get in there and start swinging. He felt like he could do it."