Jesse Crain (Jennifer Hilderbrand-USA TODAY Sports)
The Houston Astros signed Jesse Crain at a discount. And that is a good thing. If it weren’t for the discount, then the Astros likely would not have been able to sign the reliever to a one year, $3.25 million contract.
Crain was available at a discount because he missed the second half of the 2013 season due to an injury to his right bicep and the subsequent surgery in October. Until Monday, the 32-year old had yet to throw this off-season.
Last season’s edition of the Astros’ bullpen was less than impressive. There are many options available to Bo Porter for the late innings of games, and there was some assumption that Crain could be in line to close games. That doesn’t appear to be the case — at least to start the season, as Crain’s debut as an Astro will be delayed.
The 32-year old threw for the first time on Monday, and came away feeling pleased. However, Crain will likely not throw off a mound in the near future. While Crain would look nice in the bullpen to start the season, there is no need to rush him, and that will be better in the long run.
"“I only got back to like 45, 50 feet,” Crain said. “I did that twice, made about 70 throws or so and felt good. Started off on the right foot for sure.”“Like I said the whole time I’m not going to set a date,” Crain said. “Most likely it won’t be (Opening Day), but is it a possibility, yeah. I really don’t know.”"