Adam Dunn: Season easier to stomach at first base
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN email@example.com July 10, 2013 10:45PM
SOX AT TIGERS
The facts: 12:05 p.m., CSN, 670-AM, 97.5-FM.
The starters: Chris Sale (5-8, 2.78 ERA) vs. Anibal Sanchez (7-5, 2.70).
DETROIT — Adam Dunn started at first base for the 49th time Wednesday, two starts shy of his total for last season.
For him, getting some air and sunshine has eased the pain of the White Sox’ lost half-season.
“It’s as enjoyable as it could be,’’ Dunn said of playing first base. “I can’t imagine … as bad as this thing has gone, it would be probably times two DH’ing every day.’’
Dunn made it clear he doesn’t mind being a designated hitter, which is what he signed on for with the Sox before the 2011 season.
He said it might have affected his performance early on, but once he got the DH routine down, “I don’t think it affects it at all.’’
Dunn is batting .210 with 24 home runs and 60 RBI. At the All-Star break last year, he was something of a reluctant All-Star who was hitting .208 with 25 homers and 61 RBI.
The extra games at first have come courtesy of manager Robin Ventura resting Paul Konerko more and, of late, Konerko being on the disabled list.
Perhaps rookie Josh Phegley can turn left-hander Chris Sale’s luck around when he catches Sale on Thursday.
Sale is 0-6 with a 3.10 ERA over his last seven starts. According to STATS, the last Sox starter to lose six or more games in a row with an ERA of 3.10 or less was Charlie Robertson in 1923.
Robertson lost six straight decisions with a 2.64 ERA.
The last major-league starter with that kind of bad luck was the Dodgers’ Orel Hershiser in 1989, who lost seven straight with a 2.29 ERA.
Tyler Flowers was behind the plate Wednesday against the Tigers and went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
While it appears that Phegley, who went 0-for-5 in the Sox’ 23-hit game Tuesday, will get the majority of time, Flowers has not been forgotten.
“It’s not one of those where he’s not playing anymore,’’ Ventura said.
“He’s still a catcher with us, and you have to give him at-bats and keep him going.’’