Dunn: White Sox can improve in second half

813252.png

Dunn: White Sox can improve in second half

KANSAS CITY -- Adam Dunn thinks the White Sox have better days ahead.

The White Sox designated hitterfirst baseman said Monday he doesnt believe any of his teammates have played better than their skill-sets. Dunn went as far as to say he thinks the White Sox, who are 47-38 and in first place in the American League Central, can improve in the second half.

I dont think anyone is playing over their heads, Dunn said. If anything, we have room to go. A lot of guys did a lot of great things the first half. But myself included, I think Im capable of a lot more. I plan to do a lot more. I feel like I can be a little more consistent.

Dunn, an All-Star for the first time since 2002, enters the break hitting .208 with a team-high 25 homers and 61 RBIs. He also leads baseball with 68 walks and 134 strikeouts.

As for his personal wish list, Dunn thinks he can improve his on-base percentage (.357) and average with runners in scoring position (.237).

I want to get on base more and drive in more runs, Dunn said. Ive got to be better at driving in runs.

So how does Dunn propose to improve? He believes the four days off during the break, ones that dont require a strenuous workload, will do his body good.

To have four days off is huge, Dunn said. There are certain little ailments four days will fix and rejuvenate you. Im going to get my rest. Im not going to go out in batting practice and try to hit 900-foot home runs.

Its awesome to be here. Im going to enjoy it with everyone, have fun and get some rest for the second half.

Two days out, White Sox already excited about facing former teammate Chris Sale

Two days out, White Sox already excited about facing former teammate Chris Sale

There are still two days remaining until the White Sox take the field against their old teammate, but the questions are already coming about what it will be like to face Chris Sale on Tuesday night.

The Boston Red Sox come to the South Side for a three-game series starting Monday afternoon, but the highlight of the set will be Tuesday night's matchup: Sale against his old team, which will counter with another All-Star arm in Jose Quintana.

The White Sox jumpstarted their rebuilding effort this offseason when they traded Sale to Boston, getting a hefty haul back in return led by top prospect Yoan Moncada.

Sale was one of the most dominant pitchers in baseball during his tenure in a White Sox uniform and has continued that trend in Boston, where he's posted a 2.34 ERA in 10 starts this season, punching out a league-leading 101 batters in a league-leading 73 innings of work.

[WHITE SOX TICKETS: Get your seats right here]

Tuesday night he'll go up against his ex-mates for the first time, something those players are pretty excited about.

"I have so much respect. He was one of the best teammates that I had here in my first three years," first baseman Jose Abreu said Sunday. "That will be fun. He’s a very good pitcher, and we’ll see what happens that day."

"Facing Saler is going to be awesome, big time," Quintana said. "A big moment of the season. He was my teammate. It's a different feeling, but it's good to face the best left-hander in the league. I'm excited and I think he's excited, too. But my focus right now is to do my job. Do my work and do my thing and put us in a good position to win. That's all I can do."

There'll be much more reaction to come from both the White Sox and the Red Sox ahead of the matchup on Monday and Tuesday. But already this big-time showdown against Sale — who made five consecutive All-Star appearances in his seven years on the South Side — is demanding everyone's attention.

White Sox settle on starting pitcher for series-opening game with Red Sox on Monday

White Sox settle on starting pitcher for series-opening game with Red Sox on Monday

All eyes are looking ahead to Tuesday night, when the White Sox will welcome Chris Sale back to the South Side, countering with another All-Star hurler in Jose Quintana.

But the pitching matchup has also been set for the series-opening game against the visiting Boston Red Sox on Monday afternoon.

David Holmberg will get the ball for the White Sox on Memorial Day. For Boston, it will be David Price's first start of the season.

It will be Holmberg's first start since joining the White Sox. He's made eight relief appearances this season and posted a 0.87 ERA in his 10.1 innings of work.

Holmberg made 12 starts over three major league seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks and Cincinnati Reds, turning in a 3-6 record with a 6.99 ERA in 55.1 innings as a starter in 2013, 2014 and 2015 seasons.

[WHITE SOX TICKETS: Get your seats right here]

A second-round draft pick of the White Sox in 2009, Holmberg was dealt a year after he was drafted in the trade that brought Edwin Jackson to the South Side. He signed with the White Sox in March of last year and made 32 starts between Double-A Birmingham and Triple-A Charlotte, going 10-9 with a 3.72 ERA.

Monday will mark Holmberg's second start of the year at any level. He made one start and five relief appearances at Charlotte earlier this season.

Holmberg allowed one run in his first big league outing of the season back on May 4 against the Kansas City Royals. Since he's allowed just one hit and walked two in 9.2 shutout innings.

Manager Rick Renteria said Sunday that he's hoping to get five innings out of Holmberg, which could mean a busy day for the bullpen, too.

"It could be, but he’s actually done well," Renteria said of Holmberg. "Since he’s been with us, I think we’ve had him get up three times already. We’re hoping that we can take him out to a five-inning stint, depending on how many pitches he throws and things like that nature. He was starting obviously in the minor leagues, so he had been stretched out. We’ll see how it goes. Everybody’s going to have to be available, but I’m hopeful that he’s going to give us a good outing."