Astros targeting May 29 for Crain return

The Astros are targeting May 29 – the date he would be eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list – as the date for injured right-handed pitcher Jesse Crain to be added to a roster, whether at a Minor League affiliate or with the Astros.

Crain, who hasn’t pitched since the middle of last season, was moved from the 15-day disabled list Friday to make room on the 40-man roster for reliever Tony Sipp, who was signed. Crain began spring rehabbing from biceps tendinitis surgery and is now dealing with mostly bursitis in the shoulder, general manager Jeff Luhnow said.

“We’re setting his date as a goal that he’s out with us or one of our Minor League affiliates in games,” said Luhnow, who talked to Crain via phone Friday from Florida, where he’s been rehabbing. “He’s been making progress. He’s feeling better.”

Crain is still only throwing off flat ground, but Luhnow said he’s scheduled to get on the mound in the next few weeks. His throwing program been mapped out for the month.

Crain was an All-Star in a 2013 season in which he posted a 0.74 ERA in 38 games with the White Sox, striking out 46 and walking only 11 batters in 36 2/3 innings, including a 29-innings scoreless streak. He didn’t pitch after being traded to the Rays on July 29 because of biceps tendinitis that eventually required surgery.

In 10 Major League seasons with the Twins (2004-10) and White Sox (2011-13), Crain has posted a 45-30 record with four saves in 532 appearances (all in relief) with a 3.05 ERA and a .229 opponents’ average.

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