Crain 'grinding away' to contribute to Astros

Crain 'grinding away' to contribute to Astros

NEW YORK -- Jesse Crain, who's been out all season after having biceps tendinitis surgery last October, joined the Astros briefly Tuesday at Yankee Stadium for a quick workout before flying back home to Houston.

Crain was in town to be examined by Dr. David Altchek, the medical director for the Mets, who performed the surgery. Crain has had numerous setbacks while he tries to recover and has progressed to the point of throwing fastballs and changeups off the mound.

"I'll keep on grinding away and see what happens," Crain said. "For the last two weeks, I've been feeling pretty good."

Crain hopes to progress to the point where he's throwing breaking balls off the mound with his shoulder remaining strong, which would then allow him to face hitters. He's hoping to do so in the next couple of weeks, which could give him a month of game action.

"Of course, I want to get out there for a bunch of reasons -- for the Astros, myself and for next year as well," he said. "There's going to be a bunch of reasons for me to get out there. Hopefully, time doesn't run out."

Crain signed a one-year, $3.25 million deal last offseason to play for his hometown team, so not being able to get on the mound has been a disappointment for him and the club. He would like to pitch for the Astros next year, and being able to throw in a few games in September would give him some confidence.

"I live at home, and I'm a Houston guy that was excited to sign here," he said. "Obviously, it's unfortunate I haven't been able to get out there yet, but they've done a great job working with me to get me healthy. It would be great to be able to come back next year and have a chance to help them out, being healthy for a whole season.

"They've done a great job and really worked with me. It would be great to be on the field for them as well."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.