Lineup change could prove to be boon for White Sox’ Adam Dunn
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN firstname.lastname@example.org February 24, 2013 11:45PM
Chicago White Sox's Adam Dunn, right, is congratulated by Alex Rios (51) after hitting a two-run home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fourth inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game in Glendale, Ariz., Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Alex Rios batted third again Sunday against right-hander Zack Greinke, another indication manager Robin Ventura plans to use him in the third slot this season.
An advantage to having Adam Dunn bat third last season was having a lefty in the box setting a screen when leadoff man Alejandro De Aza attempted to steal. However, Dunn has always been distracted by movement on the bases when he hits, so batting fifth behind Paul Konerko might suit him better.
“It’s one of those things,’’ Dunn said. “My whole life, I’m so locked into the pitcher that whenever I see somebody move, especially with like two strikes, my eyes go straight to the runner. Obviously on a 3-2 count they’re probably going to be running so you have it in the back of your mind. I’d rather have them on second, obviously.’’
With Rios on third Sunday, Dunn hit an opposite-field homer to left-center field against Peter Moylan. Dunn has talked with De Aza and others about his thing about runners on the move, just so they know.
“If they’re going to go, go kind of go early in the count,’’ he said. “There were a couple of times with two strikes I’d either freeze up or just wail at one I normally wouldn’t.’’
If Dunn hits with Konerko, one of the slowest runners in baseball, on first, he can relax.
“Probably don’t have to worry about that too much,’’ Dunn said.
Dunn batted fourth Sunday after batting fifth behind Konerko on Saturday against lefty Clayton Kershaw. Konerko had the day off Sunday.
Matt Thornton, who had a temporary setback Tuesday with discomfort in the back of his left elbow and triceps area, threw all of his pitches in a 35-pitch bullpen and came away feeling “great’’ and remains on a normal throwing schedule.
“Aside from being numb from the cold and wind … everything felt good,’’ Thornton said. “Got my work in till I felt like I was starting to fatigue and shut it down.’’
Thornton is scheduled to pitch in a game for the first time on March 5, as originally planned.
Wise beyond years
Fourth outfielder Dewayne Wise turned 35 on Sunday feeling as good as ever. Wise, who tripled into the right field corner against the Dodgers on Sunday, said he hasn’t adjusted his fitness routine even as he approaches the twilight of his career.
“I pretty much do the same thing I did in my 20s,’’ said Wise, who is at his 16th spring training. “I’m not a big guy (6-feet, 200 pounds). With my small frame, that helps as you get older. The only thing that changes is the age.’’
Wise can expect to get spots starts in left field for Dayan Viciedo against tough right-handers and can also spell De Aza in center and Rios in right.
“It’s always nice to be somewhere you’re liked and wanted,’’ said Wise, whose picture saving Mark Buehrle’s perfect game is displayed big and prominently at Camelback Ranch. “I’m happy to be back.’’
Wise signed a one-year, $700,000 contract during the offseason.