Ballantini: White Sox's Dunn coming along

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Ballantini: White Sox's Dunn coming along

Saturday, April 9, 2011
Posted: 2:22 p.m.
By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

After experiencing what he called the worst pain yet from his appendicitis surgery on Friday, Adam Dunn arrived at U.S. Cellular Field fit and feisty, feeling better than he has since he underwent the procedure early on Wednesday morning.

The Wolverine healing powers have kicked in, Dunn said, fresh from an indoor hitting session. I knew it was only a matter of time.

Dunn was unaware that manager Ozzie Guillen had proclaimed on Friday that the slugger would need to sit out at least the five days doctors estimated hed be sidelined, and then prove to everyoneGM Ken Williams, hitting coach Greg Walker, doctors, his mom and dad, and new White Sox organist Lori Morelandhe was fit to return to action. But he didnt care, either.

I want to beat the prognosis and play by Sunday, Dunn said, adding that if all proceeds normally hell take batting practice on Sunday and potentially suit up for Sundays series finale vs. the Tampa Bay Rays.

Guillen stood firm.

I talked to Hermie White Sox trainer Herm Schneider and he said the progress is going slow but very sure, Guillen said. He said he was swinging at 50 so there's not a timetable yet. I don't think it's fair for us to say, This is the timetable; that's what we want to do. It's up to him. He's swinging the bat a little bit, and that's good news. I'm not a doctor, but when they open your body and you say five days, I don't care who you are, you're not Superman. I don't care how tough you are, that's going to get you.

Dunn said that he woke up this morning to a revelation.

I was on my side, and thats how I normally sleep, Dunn said. So I opened my eyes and said, whoa. I stood up and felt good, and said, now were in business.

Dunn said he wasnt swinging at 100, but it felt OK. And that means tomorrow is going to be great.

Of course, with Mark Teahen tapping out three hits, including a home run and an apparent game-icing two-run single in the eighth, Dunn realizes that theres no reason for him to speed back to action.

It is hard sitting out, but its a great feeling to know that whoevers in there taking your spot is more than qualified, if not better than you, like Mark yesterday. With this team it makes it a lot easier to not rush, because you know my replacements are going to pick up the slack.

Guillen estimated that Dunn would certainly play before the homestand runs out, however.

When? I don't knowwe have a long homestand, and I hope I see him before it ends, Guillen said. If not, we'll wait and see. If I say I hope it's Monday or Tuesday or Wednesday, then every day we have to come out and address it. From what I hear, I expect him to be back before next weekend.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.coms White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.

Yoan Moncada 'relieved' to get first White Sox hit out of way

Yoan Moncada 'relieved' to get first White Sox hit out of way

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Yoan Moncada can’t complain much about his first hit with the White Sox.

Given all the elements, it rates about a 9 1/ 2 out of 10. Only a homer would have been better.

Baseball’s top prospect continues to look comfortable at the plate and in the field. Two days after he made his team debut, Moncada earned his first hit when he ripped a two-out, bases-loaded triple early in Friday night’s 7-6 loss to the Kansas City Royals. Moncada finished 1-for-4 with four RBIs.

“Once I got that first hit, I felt relieved,” Moncada said through an interpreter. “First, because it was the first one. And second because of the situation. It was a three RBIs triple. It was a very big moment of the game. I think that from now on I’m going to feel more relaxed and comfortable.”

Moncada has put together a series of good plate appearances in his first two games. He’s looked at ease while in the box and hasn’t panicked even when he gets behind in the count. Moncada said he felt even more comfortable when he stepped in to face Royals starter Ian Kennedy in the third inning. Not only was it his second time facing Kennedy, but Moncada sat in the on-deck circle as Matt Davidson drew a 10-pitch walk to load the bases with two outs.

Hitting left-handed, Moncada fell behind 0-2 in the count but Kennedy hung a 78-mph knuckle curve and the rookie lined it deep into the left-center field gap to clear the bases. Moncada not only showed his power, he also showed off his wheels: his 11.24 seconds from home to third was the fastest time by a White Sox player this season, according to MLB Statcast.

“He's seeing the ball,” manager Rick Renteria said. “He seems pretty calm, composed out there. It's just a couple of days, but in terms of how he's carrying himself, his body language, he seems to be transitioning pretty well up to this point, first couple of days.”

Moncada said Friday was much calmer than his Wednesday debut against the Los Angeles Dodgers when he drew a walk and went 0-for-2. The switch-hitting second baseman had an RBI groundout in his first at-bat Friday to give the White Sox a 1-0 lead. Then he stood in and tracked Kennedy with Davidson at the plate.

All in all, Moncada’s happy with how he’s executed his plan at the plate thus far. He said he choked up on the 0-2 pitch and put a good swing on it.

“That at-bat gave me more time to see in real life his pitches,” Moncada said. “I’ve been feeling very comfortable. In Chicago, that first game, it was a little bit nervous. But overall I feel very comfortable hitting and with my defense.”

Is it time for the White Sox to call up Reynaldo Lopez?

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USA TODAY

Is it time for the White Sox to call up Reynaldo Lopez?

With Yoan Moncada now with the White Sox and making an early impact, White Sox fans may be wondering which highly-touted prospect is next to join the big league roster.

Reynaldo Lopez is certainly making a strong case for himself in Triple-A Charlotte. Lopez, one of the pitchers the Sox received from the Washington Nationals in the Adam Eaton trade, gave up one run in six innings for the Knights on Friday night. That was the latest in a string of five strong starts for the 23-year-old.

In Friday's 2-1 loss against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Railriders, Lopez struck out six and allowed just two hits and one walk. That's five straight starts for Lopez in which he has allowed two or fewer runs while pitching six or more innings.

Here's his last five starts:

June 29 vs. Columbus: 6 2/3 innings, 1 run, 11 strikeouts, 1 walk, 6 hits

July 4 at Durham: 6 innings, 1 run, 6 strikeouts, 1 walk, 5 hits

July 9 at Louisville: 6 innings, 2 runs, 4 strikeouts, 1 walk, 7 hits

July 16 vs. Gwinnett: 7 innings, 1 run, 12 strikeouts, 2 walks, 2 hist

Tonight at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre: 6 innings, 1 run, 6 strikeouts, 1 walk, 2 hits

Loepz has a 3.65 ERA on the season with 107 strikeouts in 106 innings against 40 walks and 90 hits. In a short stint in the majors last season, Lopez had a 4.91 ERA in 44 innings in six starts and five relief appearances for the Nationals.

Does Guaranteed Rate Field await the Dominican right-hander?