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.

Veteran outfielder Peter Bourjos eyes role with White Sox

Veteran outfielder Peter Bourjos eyes role with White Sox

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- As he surveyed the landscape this offseason, Peter Bourjos thought he and the White Sox would make for a good fit.

Adam Eaton had been traded and Austin Jackson departed via free agency, leaving the White Sox with Melky Cabrera and several young players to man a thin outfield. Bourjos, who lived in Chicago until second grade, pursued the White Sox and last month agreed to terms on a minor-league deal in hopes of earning a spot on the Opening Day roster. Last season, Bourjos, who was born in Chicago, hit .251/.292/.389 with five home runs and 23 RBIs in 383 plate appearances for the Philadelphia Phillies.

“I always liked playing in Chicago,” Bourjos said. “It was a good fit and then spring training is here. I have two young kids. So packing them up and going to Florida wasn’t something I wanted to do either.

“We definitely look at all those options on paper. Evaluate what might be the best chance of making a team and this is definitely one of them. It seems like a good fit on paper.”

If he’s healthy enough, Charlie Tilson will get the first crack at the everyday job in center field. Tilson, who missed the final two months of last season with a torn hamstring, is currently sidelined for 10 days with foot problems. Beyond Tilson, the White Sox have prospects Adam Engel and Jacob May with Cabrera slated to start in left field and Avisail Garcia pegged for right. Leury Garcia is also in the mix.

But there still appears to be a good shot for Bourjos to make the club and manager Rick Renteria likes his veteran presence for the young group. Bourjos has accrued six seasons of service time between the Phillies, Los Angeles Angels and St. Louis Cardinals.

“Bourjy has been around,” Renteria said. “He knows what it takes. He understands the little nuances of major-league camp and how we have so many players and we want to give them all a look. We want to see Bourjos, we want to see him out there.”

Bourjos, who turns 30 in March, has an idea what he wants to do with his chance. A slick defensive outfielder, Bourjos wants to prove he’s a better hitter than his .243/.300/.382 slash line would suggest. He said it’s all about being relaxed.

“Offensively just slow everything down and not try to do too much,” Bourjos said. “I put a lot of pressure on myself and it hasn’t translated. I think last year I got in a spot where I just tried to relax in the batter’s box and let everything go and what happened happened. I had success with that.

“I now realize what that feels like and it doesn’t work. Just take a deep breath and be relaxed in the box and good things are going to happen.”

Gio, Geo and Gio: White Sox spring training has its own version of 'Who's on First?'

Gio, Geo and Gio: White Sox spring training has its own version of 'Who's on First?'

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Giovanni Soto pitched to Geovany Soto at White Sox camp on Monday morning, and the Internet loved it.

The veteran catcher and rookie pitcher, who share similar names and have been friends for two years, worked together during live batting practice. The unrelated pair, who both hail from Puerto Rico, said they’ve been confused for each other several times since reporting to camp last week. Each has also heard the other’s name being called out and thought it was for them, which has led to more confusion. But those mix-ups haven’t limited their enjoyment of the situation, either.

“It’s kind of surreal that he has the same name, last name,” Geovany Soto said. “It’s kind of weird calling him Gio and he’s calling me Geo. It’s kind of weird.

“With the physicals, doctors, the people for the drug testing, we’ve been confused in all three of those. I’m expecting that to happen. Hopefully I can get a big check on his name and cash it.”

The social media world isn’t alone in its enjoyment of the topic as both players smiled while discussing it on Monday.

Giovanni Soto said the players met two seasons ago when he pitched for the Cleveland Indians and the catcher was in his first stint with the White Sox. They grew up about 20 minutes apart from each other in Puerto Rico and now spend time together in the offseason. But what has made the scenario even more confusing is that White Sox prospect Lucas Giolito is seated only a few stalls away from Giovanni Soto in the clubhouse.

“It’s kind of weird, especially in the clubhouse and on the field because when someone says Geo, we turn around to see if it’s for him or for me,” Giovanni Soto said. “And we also have Giolito, and people call him Gio. It’s weird, but it’s funny too.”

Both Sotos could make the team’s Opening Day roster.

Geovany Soto, who signed a minor league contract in January, is the most experienced catcher in camp and is favored to win a job. Giovanni Soto, who was claimed off waivers from the Cubs in November, is one of several relievers competing for a spot and could make the club if the White Sox decide to carry two left-handers in the bullpen. And while Giolito is expected to start the season at Triple-A, he could reach the majors at some point causing more pandemonium.

“There’s a lot of Geo going on with Giolito, Giovanni and then me,” Geovany Soto said. “And can get pretty hectic. But yeah, it’s fun for us.”