Dunn drops back while he waits to go deep

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Dunn drops back while he waits to go deep

Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Posted: 7:22 p.m.
By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

NEW YORKBack in Tampa, Adam Dunn and I sat and talked for awhile about high school football in Texas.

He starred at New Caney High near Houston, and was a prized Texas Longhorns recruit who was ticketed to start in Austin after redshirting in 1998 as a dual minor league playercollege football quarterback. I went to college in the Lone Star State.

He hung out with running back Ricky Williams, then a similar dual player, albeit one of much greater fame. I hung out with guys who grew up in the glare of Friday Night Lights in west Texas, so I knew more than I wanted to about that football-crazed state.

After first acknowledging the supremacy of my Texas Christian University Horned Frogs over his beloved Longhorns, we laughed over my memories of attending high school playoff games in Dallas that he watched on TV as a nine-year-old.

Tampa marked the first time that the pigskin made its debut with the White Sox, as Dunn and Paul Konerko tossed the ball back and forth, beneath the Trop surface.

Today, Dunn took his skills to the surface, putting a twist on pitching sprints by having the White Sox arms run routes for him, as he launched spirals 50 yards in the airand his troops mostly flailed in trying to run under them.

I try to do it three times a week, especially when it warms up, Dunn said. Its fun. Its good exercise.

Dunn cited Edwin Jackson has the best receiver of the pitchers, and indeed Jackson flashed some speed in chasing down some Dunn bombs.

Jackson mentioned playing some wide receiver in high school, but, true to his nature as a hurler, lost interest because you dont get to throw the ball.

Dunn dismissed many of the other hurlers with his usual, derogatory label of kickers, saying, There are probably a lousy players who are your typical kickers out there.

The troops, including Dunn, were rusty, the affable slugger acknowledged.

None of us were in shape to be doing that, he said. Look at us in July; minicamp time, well be right there.

While Dunn admitted in Tampa that his high school team ran the ball a ton and he threw around 15 passes per game (I had a lot of 12-for-15s with 300 yards, our receivers were awesome), he dreamed like all young Texas boys did of lining up behind center.

Its something Ive done my whole life, he said. But I still enjoy running around and throwing, just like anyone. I just have enough time to do it every day.

With Jay Cutler locked out of the NFL, Dunn said he hasnt given any thought to recasting himself again as a two-sport star.

No, dudes, he said with a laugh. Ive got enough to worry about right now.

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

Three more hits for Leury Garcia as White Sox pound Royals

Three more hits for Leury Garcia as White Sox pound Royals

When a role player finally gets an opportunity in Rick Renteria's rotation, it's usually for two or three games. The idea is to give said player an opportunity to find a rhythm before they might head back to the bench for a few days.

So far this season, Leury Garcia has found this method favorable.

The centerfielder/utility man posted his second consecutive three-hit night game and drove in two runs on Tuesday night as the White Sox pounded the Kansas City Royals 10-5 in front of 14,591 at Guaranteed Rate Field. Garcia said he appreciates knowing he's likely to appear in two straight games if he's penciled in for a first. Todd Frazier also drove in three runs for the White Sox, who scored double-digit runs in consecutive games for the first time since May 26-27, 2012 to improve to 10-9.

"That's something that makes you get into rhythm," Garcia said. "It's not the same when you get to play just once a week or twice a week. When you're playing every day you have your routine and your swing and your approach."

Though a familiar face, Garcia — who was acquired in the Aug. 9, 2013 deal that sent Alex Rios and $1 million to the Texas Rangers — is on pace to play more this April than he ever has before. With four more plate appearances on Tuesday, Garcia has 46 this month, just four shy of the 50 he accrued last September. September 2013 when he netted 45 trips to the plate is the only other time in Garcia's career where he's received at least 40 plate appearances in a month.

But Garcia has found ample time this month with Peter Bourjos traded, Charlie Tilson injured and Jacob May struggling. Much like Matt Davidson, Garcia has capitalized on his chances.

On Tuesday his two-out RBI single in the second inning off Danny Duffy tied the score at 1. Three innings later, Garcia's two-out RBI double put the White Sox ahead for good. He also added an infield single in the sixth inning for good measure and finished 3-for-4.

A career .462 OPS hitter before this season, Garcia is slashing .318/.348/.500 in 46 plate appearances this season. 

"He was playing one day and then playing after five days (before)," teammate Avisail Garcia said. "Now he's playing every day and he's doing good. He's a good player and he can hit the ball and play good defense.

"It's huge (to play consecutively)."

A big factor for Leury Garcia's early success is his reduced strikeout rate. He's at 8.7 percent this season (four in 46 tries), down from 30.8 percent for his career. 

"He's just starting to manage his swing," manager Rick Renteria said. "He's learning how to approach at-bats, he's not just flailing at balls, I think it's a little bit more in control. He's still an aggressive swinger but I think he's trying to manage making contact. 

"He's capable of doing quite a few things and it's just coming together."

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Leury Garcia's second straight great game helped the White Sox break out against a lifeless Kansas City club. Tim Anderson followed Leury Garcia's double in the fourth with an RBI single off Duffy to make it 4-2.  

Frazier, who had two doubles and three RBIs, doubled in a run in the fifth and Yolmer Sanchez tripled him in. 

Duffy allowed six earned runs and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings.

Omar Narvaez, who had two hits and a walk, singled in a pair off reliever Chris Young in the seventh as the White Sox pulled away. Frazier and Avisail Garcia, who finished 3-for-5, doubled in runs with two outs in the eighth. 

But afterward Leury Garcia received praise from every corner of the clubhouse. Renteria and Frazier singled out his performance and Sanchez sat in on his postgame media session. 

"I've been taking advantage of that rotation because you as a player, you want to play," Garcia said. "But at the same time you have to realize there's another 24 teammates that also deserve to play to. You have to be prepared to take advantage of that opportunity. 

"For me I've been great because I've been able to perform and I feel good."

White Sox Talk Podcast: How soon could White Sox promote Yoan Moncada

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USA TODAY

White Sox Talk Podcast: How soon could White Sox promote Yoan Moncada

On the latest edition of the White Sox Talk podcast, Ryan McGuffey and Rob Wiatrowski are joined by CSNChicago.com's Dan Hayes to discuss his recent weekend visiting all four White Sox minor league affiliates. 

The panel discusses the players that jumped out to Hayes and when may be the earliest Yoan Moncada gets the call to the Big Leagues. 

Later, Matt Davidson's story makes quite the read and why the Orioles giving up on Miguel Gonzalez has benefitted the Sox. 

Listen to the White Sox Talk Podcast below.