ST. PETERSBURG — Time is running short, and potentially out, on the chances of RHP Jesse Crain pitching for the Rays this season.
Crain's recovery from the shoulder strain he had when acquired from the White Sox on July 29 has stalled, manager Joe Maddon said, decreasing the chances the All-Star reliever can play the key role the Rays projected.
"I'd say 'hopeful' is a nice word. I don't know, I really don't," Maddon said. "We'd probably need to see some significant movement in the next week or so."
Crain remains optimistic, saying this week has been better than last, but admits that he, too, is frustrated by the slow, day-to-day nature of his rehab. He has yet to progress past playing catch, having done so Wednesday for the second straight day, and any progression will be based on how he feels today.
Crain will accompany the team to the West Coast and, meshing with Maddon's timetable, said his goal is to be throwing off the mound by the Sept. 8 end of the trip. "That would be the best-case scenario," Crain said.
From there, he figures he would need another four mound sessions — spaced a few days apart — to be ready for game action, having last pitched June 29.
"It's been hard to be patient for the last month, let alone the last two months," he said. "It's definitely frustrating."
It's not clear how Crain's status impacts the terms of the trade, which was announced to be for players to be named or cash considerations. Teams are not allowed to structure deals tied to performance.
JAKE, FROM THE FARM: RHP Jake Odorizzi said his solid June 18 spot start for the Rays at Fenway Park put him on a good roll at Triple-A Durham, where he went 4-5, 2.82 in his next 12 outings, and he is eager to see the carryover effect when he starts today.
"I kind of made some minor adjustments and the results have been a lot better," he said. "The ball is coming out really good right now, and it's a good time that it worked out to get back up here while I'm throwing the ball well and see how everything goes."
Odorizzi, in his fourth stint with the Rays, said he doesn't know if he's staying after today or going back to the Bulls, who open the playoffs next week.
The Rays made room for Odorizzi by optioning LHP Jeff Beliveau to Double-A Montgomery. He can return Tuesday as the Biscuits season ends.
PITCHING IN: The Rays only announced that LHP David Price will start Friday and RHP Alex Cobb on Saturday in Oakland, with the rest of the rotation under discussion. RHP Roberto Hernandez seems the obvious choice for Sunday, then it gets complicated as the Rays have to sort out how to slot in RHP Jeremy Hellickson, who was sent to the minors for a few days' rest, and LHP Matt Moore, who is coming back from a sore elbow.
REHAB REPORT: Moore hopes to work five innings with a 75-pitch limit tonight in his rehab start for Triple-A Durham at Gwinnett (Ga.). "I think the big thing is that they want me to get up and down as much as I can with those 75 pitches," he said. Moore is confident his elbow is fine and plans to fly to meet the team in Oakland on Friday.
DH/OF Delmon Young is on track to join the Rays Sunday when rosters expand, having gone 4-for-20 with one RBI in five games for Double-A Montgomery. "I've seen some video, and I thought the swing looked really good," Maddon said. … DH Luke Scott (back) went 1-for-4 with a walk for Durham in the first of a scheduled three-game rehab before rejoining the Rays Sunday.
MISCELLANY: Rays pitchers logged their MLB-leading 17th game without a walk, 30th with one or no runs. … Struggling rookie OF Wil Myers (.148 in his past 16 games) was among Rays taking extra batting practice. … MLB senior VP Joe Garagiola Jr. was at the game, visiting but not as commissioner Bud Selig's stadium emissary.