WASHINGTON, D.C. -- His homecoming has been delayed slightly but Adam Dunn gives Robin Ventura an interesting option off the bench on Tuesday.
The former Washington Nationals player is happy to be back in the nation’s capitol, where he played from 2009-10. Dunn spent Tuesday’s pregame speaking to local reports and catching up with friends and former teammates.
But Ventura wants to keep Dayan Viciedo’s bat in the lineup, and because it’s interleague play and there’s no designated hitter, the manager chose to sit Dunn in the series opener against Washington left-handed starter Gio Gonzalez.
Ventura agrees having a bat capable of 41 home runs on the bench gives him a big threat to utilize as he sees fit. Dunn is also likely to play on Wednesday and Thursday with right-handers Jordan Zimmerman and Dan Haren on the mound for Washington.
“If you need a homer, probably he’d be the guy,” Ventura said. “When you play this kind of game, the situation dictates itself. You have options with Conor (Gillaspie) in there, and even with Angel (Sanchez) as far as what you can do and who you can put in there. I think you try to win in nine innings, and after that you’re going to have to make stuff up and guys will have to move around.”
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Dunn said he had no doubt the Nationals’ future was bright after they drafted Stephen Strasburg, Bryce Harper and Drew Storen. He hoped he’d be invited back and thought he had a chance to return but ultimately signed a four-year, $56-million deal with the White Sox before the 2011 season.
Even so, Dunn holds no hostility towards the Nationals.
“Sometimes things just don’t work out,” Dunn said. “It’s nothing they did and nothing I did. I’ve got nothing bad to say about them.”
Dunn was even a bit nostalgic when he ran into a familiar security guard after he arrived.
“It was a little weird (being back) but it was like I was here yesterday,” Dunn said. “That’s the little stuff that’s special. It’s like you never left.”
Hahn: Week One was good
General manager Rick Hahn likes how his team responded in its opening week when it won four of six games. Buoyed by a pitching staff that has a 2.41 ERA, the White Sox won two of three games against both the Kansas City Royals and Seattle Mariners. Hahn said he hasn’t learned much of anything new but would like to see one change.
“It’s way too soon for anything along those lines,” Hahn said. “Way too soon. It’s been a good first six days. Don’t need to be a one-run game every day though.”
Gellinger to Bristol
Part of the White Sox clubhouse since 1997, Mike Gellinger will head for Bristol this summer, where he will manage the Sox Advanced Rookie club. Gellinger has worked in a variety of roles with the White Sox, most recently as a special assignment scout. He also has worked as an infield coordinator and previously managed at Rookie Sarasota and Single-A South Bend and Advance Rookie Utica.
Gellinger replaces Bobby Magallanes, who will become a roving instructor with the organization’s Latin players, Hahn said.