Jesse Crain unsure when he’ll return from oblique injury

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Jesse Crain has been sidelined for more than a week with a strained right oblique muscle and said yesterday that there’s no timetable yet for his return.

Crain was able to play catch Monday, but told Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune that “we haven’t even talked about” when he’ll see game action again and “we are trying to see how I can get better.”

Pitching coach Don Cooper stressed that the White Sox still “have time” to get Crain ready to begin the season on the active roster, but his spring training workload will be very limited and Gonzales indicates that a disabled list stint is a possibility. For now the best-case scenario has Crain throwing off a mound at the end of the week, so it may be a while before he faces live hitters.

Crain, who left the Twins for the White Sox as a free agent last offseason, threw 65 innings with a 2.62 ERA and 70/31 K/BB ratio. He’s owed $4.5 million this season and next season, and could find himself on the trading block if Chicago falls out of contention.

Report: Brewers have made formal contract offer to Yu Darvish

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Yahoo Japan reported on Sunday (Monday there) that the Brewers have made a formal contract offer to free agent pitcher Yu Darvish. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has confirmed Yahoo Japan’s report. The length of the offered contract and the value are not known at the moment.

Darvish recently said on his personal Twitter account that the Rangers, Yankees, Cubs, Astros, Twins, and “one more team” have been in the running for his services. The unnamed team was believed to be the Dodgers, but it may well be the Brewers.

The Brewers could certainly use Darvish’s arm. Chase Anderson and Zach Davies currently lead the starting rotation and the club added Jhoulys Chacin and Yovani Gallardo this offseason.

Darvish, 31, posted a 3.86 ERA with a 209/58 K/BB ratio in 186 2/3 innings between the Rangers and Dodgers in the regular season last year. He faltered in the playoffs, specifically in the World Series, where he gave up nine runs in 3 1/3 innings across two starts. Darvish was apparently tipping his pitches, however, which is a correctable issue.