ST. PETERSBURG -- Rays reliever Jesse Crain will pitch in an instructional league game Thursday afternoon in Sarasota, Fla., which could be the final step in his rehabilitation process from a right shoulder strain he sustained before he was traded to Tampa Bay.
The goal is for Crain to throw around 20 pitches over one or two innings. Crain threw live batting practice to Rays hitters Monday and reported feeling normal soreness Tuesday.
The Rays' training staff will determine the next step for Crain based on how he feels after Thursday's outing.
"I think it's the right thing to do," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "This is one of those patient moments. We're looking for the big payoff, but we're only going to get it if we do it right."
With less than two weeks left in the season, the clock is ticking for Crain -- who was named an American League All-Star for the White Sox this season -- to get on the field in a Rays uniform. The initial timetable he was given had him pitching by the end of August.
"I would have liked to have been in the last 2 1/2 months," Crain said. "As a competitor, you want to go out there every day, especially with the number of close games we've been in where I know I could have stepped in and helped, but it's a process. And it's something where you have to make sure when you come back, you're able to finish the season."
Beckham gets the call from Rays
ST. PETERSBURG -- After falling to Omaha in the Triple-A Baseball National Championship Game Tuesday, infielder Tim Beckham received a piece of news he thought would be coming years earlier.
Beckham, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft and the team's No. 16-ranked prospect, finally put on a Rays uniform as the team recalled him from Triple-A Durham on Wednesday and moved outfielder Brandon Guyer to the 60-day disabled list.
Beckham did not make it to Triple-A until the 2011 season and stayed there until Wednesday, while fellow top five picks of the same Draft -- Pedro Alvarez , Buster Posey, Eric Hosmer and Brian Matusz -- have since made the big leagues.
"It's still a dream come true to play in the Major Leagues," Beckham said. "It would have been great if it was a two- or three-year process, but you have to play the cards you're dealt. Sometimes, it takes a guy longer than another. You can't try to measure your success against other guys."
Manager Joe Maddon said he does not envision using Beckham in "high-leverage moments," but he still feels Beckham's time spent here could be valuable.
"He may not hardly get on the field, but when you get a guy up here and he feels what it's like, that can do something for his confidence," Maddon said. "Just being here and watching this could help."
Rays honor top Minor League players
ST. PETERSBURG -- The Rays announced their Minor League Award winners and honored them in an on-field presentation before Wednesday's game against the Rangers.
Right-handed pitcher Dylan Floro took home the Pitcher of the Year Award after posting a 1.77 ERA in 23 combined starts between Class A Bowling Green and Class A Advanced Charlotte.
Outfielder Andrew Toles -- a third-round Draft choice of the Rays in 2012 -- was named Player of the Year for his .326 batting average in Bowling Green, which led the Midwest League. He also stole 62 bases, tops in the Rays organization
Sam Strong is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.