It took nearly two months, but the Tampa Bay Rays have finally activated the “newly-acquired” Jesse Crain from the disabled list.
Crain was brought in by the Rays as their prized trade deadline acquisition, but as a result of a shoulder injury, he hasn’t debuted with the team to this point. To be fair, the shoulder was a known issue prior to the deal, but unfortunately for Tampa Bay, it appears that the issue was more severe than originally thought.
However, his arrival couldn’t come at a better time for Tampa Bay, as they desperately need bullpen help as the final push to the postseason arrives. The Rays are currently leading the Wild Card battle by a 1/2 game for the top spot, and they stand 2 games clear of the Indians in order to make the postseason via the 1-game playoff. Crain’s presence should help that if he is anything near the pitcher he was before the injury.
Crain was selected as a 2013 All-Star (which doesn’t mean much, but still) after a ridiculous first half where he posted a 0.74 ERA and 11.29 K/9 in 36.2 innings. Obviously, that level is probably unsustainable, but the right-hander would present an upgrade on the current crop of Tampa pitchers if he is even 80% of himself.
It’s crunch time for the Rays, but reinforcements are here.