Crain, Konerko go on DL
CHICAGO – Exactly one year after getting an MRI on his right shoulder, White Sox reliever Jesse Crain found himself needing another one after experiencing discomfort in the same shoulder.
An MRI on Wednesday revealed Crain has a right shoulder strain, and the Sox subsequently put the 31-year-old right hander on the 15-day disabled list. Crain said he first felt shoulder tightness when playing catch before Tuesday’s game, and it persisted when warming up during the seventh inning. Manager Robin Ventura said it was better to be safe than sorry with Crain, and putting him on the DL allows him to properly rest and get healthy.
“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,” Crain said. “… It’s disappointing for the team, obviously, and disappointing for me, but I can’t control what’s going to happen.”
Joining Crain on the DL on Wednesday was first baseman Paul Konerko because of a lower back strain. Konerko had missed six games with the ailment but returned to the lineup Tuesday, going 0 for 4 with two strikeouts. The Sox recalled third baseman Brent Morel and purchased the contract of left-hander David Purcey from Triple-A Charlotte. Ventura hopes Crain and Konerko will be ready to play after the All-Star break.
“I think [Konerko] would admit it, you let yourself think you’re feeling pretty good, you go in the cage and swing, and it’s just different,” Ventura said. “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.”
Dunn on a roll: As injuries and underperformance plague the Sox’s lineup, designated hitter Adam Dunn has turned around his early season struggles.
In 28 games since June 1, Dunn is hitting .273 with 10 home runs and 26 RBIs. Lately, Dunn has been one of the only consistent players in the lineup. Entering Wednesday’s game, Dunn’s average sat at .199, up from .154 at the end of May. Dunn attributes his turnaround to fouling off fewer pitches while not swinging at too many bad pitches.
With Konerko sidelined for at least two weeks, Dunn needs to continue giving the Sox quality at-bats. He is on pace to hit 45 home runs this year, which would mark his seventh season with at least 40 homers and the second-highest total of his career (46 in 2004).
“That’s the one thing, if anything, that’s stayed really consistent, is my approach at the plate,” Dunn said. “ … I just think once you continually put yourself in a good position to hit, for the most part, everything else takes care of itself. I can’t guide the ball. It’s not an XBox. You can’t make it move the way you want it to go. So you just put the barrel on it, put a swing on it and whatever happens, happens.”
Stanley Cup visits U.S. Cellular Field: The Sox honored the Blackhawks before Wednesday’s game with a video of Sox players and staff congratulating them on winning the Stanley Cup.
Hawks Patrick Sharp and Brandon Bollig threw out first pitches and showed off the Stanley Cup to the crowd. Sox pitcher Chris Sale, who grew up in Florida, said he never really was a hockey fan until he started playing hockey games on the XBox the past couple years and planned to get a glimpse of the Cup.