Jesse Crain hasn’t pitched since April 20 because of an oblique injury and after leaving him on the active roster for a week the White Sox placed the reliever on the disabled list today.
Crain missed time during spring training with a right oblique strain, but this injury is to his left side and Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago reports that it comes from “a weight room conditioning session” last Friday.
Crain was off to a good start before the injury, throwing seven innings with a 2.57 ERA and 10/1 K/BB ratio while setting up rookie closer Hector Santiago. For now manager Robin Ventura is sticking with the struggling Santiago, but by the time Crain returns from the DL the White Sox may have a new closer.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Royals and first baseman Eric Hosmer have discussed a long-term contract extension. However, Hosmer also indicated that he will head into free agency if a deal is not consummated by Opening Day.
Hosmer, 27, avoided arbitration with the Royals last month, agreeing to a $12.25 million salary for the 2017 season. He is one of four key Royals players who can become a free agent after the season along with Mike Moustakas, Alcides Escobar, and Lorenzo Cain. If Hosmer does reach free agency, he would arguably be the top free agent first baseman.
Hosmer finished the past season hitting .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs and 104 RBI while making his first All-Star team.
Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that the Yankees have signed pitcher Jon Niese to a minor league contract, pending a physical. Assuming the deal is finalized, Sherman notes that the Yankees will have Niese work as both a starter and a reliever in big league camp this spring.
According to Sherman, the Yankees were interested in lefty relievers Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan, but didn’t want to commit at their asking prices. They are looking for a lefty set-up man along with Tommy Lane.
Niese, 30, pitched for the Pirates and Mets last season, finishing with a 5.50 ERA and an 88/47 K/BB ratio over 121 innings.