Chicago White Sox

Sox Drawer: The appendix on Dunn's appendix

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Sox Drawer: The appendix on Dunn's appendix

Friday, April 8, 2011
Posted: 1:49 p.m.

By Chuck Garfien
CSNChicago.com

Adam Dunn had experienced stomach pains before, but never quite like this. For several days, there were shooting pains coming from the upper reaches of his abdomen. He assumed it wasnt anything serious.

That was until he flipped on the television while in his hotel room in Kansas City on Tuesday morning and saw a story about the Cardinal's Matt Holliday who needed his appendix taken out after playing on Opening Day.

The reporter mentioned Hollidays symptoms. Dunn made a mental checklist

Got that ... got that ... got that, he said to himself.

Uh-oh.

READ: Dunn still healing, feeling feisty

Wednesday at 2:30 a.m., White Sox general manager Kenny Williams received a phone call. It was team trainer Herm Schneider calling from a Kansas City hospital, informing him that Williams 56 million slugger was about to have an emergency appendectomy.

In an interview with Comcast SportsNet on Thursday, I asked Williams what his reaction was when he heard the stunning news.

I cant tell you exactly right now because this is family TV, Williams said with a smile, able to make light of the situation now that Dunn is on the mend.

It was one of those things where you go in to get something checked out, and before you know it, youre having an operation, Schneider said.

The procedure would last around 25 minutes, and Dunn needed to go completely under with anesthesia. He and Schneider would spend the whole night in the hospital.

Its like we had a baby together, Schneider joked.

Shockingly Dunn wanted to pinch-hit the next day, although that might have been the painkillers talking.

I think that was the problem, Dunn said. I was on too good of ones.

So when will Dunn be back? He's not starting Friday night. The weekend seems like a possibility.

Its not the pain, Dunn said before the White Sox home opener. I feel like when I swing, my belly button is going to go shooting at the pitcher. Thats a bad visual. Seriously. Thats what it feels like. Until that goes away, where I can swing and not feel like that .... I want to get it to the point where its not bothering me.

WATCH: Sights & Sounds from Opening Day at U.S. Cellular Field

Williams is urging utter patience in regards to Jake Peavy's return from a shoulder injury. What about Dunn?

Hes 6-6, 270 pounds, its not like Im going to fight with him and argue if he really wants to get out there, Williams said. But well be as cautious as we need to be, as we always are in making these kinds of decisions. If the doctors say hes okay and he wants to play, Im not going to stop him.

Judging by the White Sox offense so far, they dont exactly need to rush him back. Their 45 runs are tied with the Reds for the most in the majors. One of the reasons is the red-hot Carlos Quentin, who is tied with Mark Teixeira for most RBIs (10) in the majors, and is second in the AL in batting average (.458).

What Id like to see is Carlos stay as even keel as he possibly can and have less media focus on him because weve really tried to put together a roster to where its not dependent upon one particular guy overachieving, Williams said. We just need everyone to do their parts, and I will tell you that Greg Walker has these guys in such great positions to hit early in the season that Im really optimistic about the entire offensive production this year.

But ask any White Sox fan from Bridgeport to Blue Island, and their biggest worry is the bullpen, which has occasionally gotten torched.

Is it merely a blip or is Williams generally concerned?

I refuse to be generally concerned about anything five games into the season, Williams said. It takes sometimes, whether it be hitters or certain pitchers, it takes some guys coming out of spring training, you can have the hottest guy on your team turn into the coldest, and the coldest turn into the hottest. Everything will level out. We have a level of talent on this team that I think will ultimately prove itself over the course of 162. Five games? Im not going to start analyzing it too deeply.

Unless theres another appendix that needs to be taken out.

Chuck Garfien hosts White Sox Pregame and Postgame Live on Comcast SportsNet with former Sox sluggers Frank Thomas and Bill Melton. Follow Chuck @ChuckGarfien on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox news and views.

Why Yoan Moncada's hot streak is important for the White Sox confidence and his

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USA TODAY

Why Yoan Moncada's hot streak is important for the White Sox confidence and his

HOUSTON -- Don’t think the White Sox front office isn’t enjoying every second of Yoan Moncada’s tear.

Everyone can breathe a little easier knowing there are fewer questions for baseball’s top prospect to answer headed into 2018. Pleased as they’d been with Moncada’s patient plate approach, the club desired a breakthrough before Oct. 2 for the confidence boost it would provide him alone. Moncada continued a torrid run on Wednesday night that should have him bristling with poise when he arrives in Glendale, Ariz. next February. He homered as the White Sox fell 4-3 to the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.

“We’ve been looking for him to continue to try and make adjustments,” manager Rick Renteria said. “There was probably a point there where people were a little concerned. Truthfully, when you see some of the talent these kids have, you recognize that their skillset is going to play up, it’s just a matter of getting the repetition.”

The White Sox have been impressed with Moncada’s improved awareness as he gains more experience.

One area in which Moncada has made the most gains is pitch recognition. The book has been that second baseman has had trouble with offspeed since he arrived in 2016, hitting .154 against sliders and .238 against curveballs entering Wednesday, according to Brooksbaseball.net.

But Moncada is trending upward. The first-pitch slider from Astros starter Brad Peacock that Moncada ripped for a go-ahead, two-run homer in the fourth inning was his fifth hit of the trip on a slider or curveball in 11 at-bats. On the trip, Moncada -- who has 189 plate appearances this season -- is hitting .415/.477/.683 with three homers, eight RBIs and 12 runs in 41 plate appearances.

[MORE: Jose Abreu's gift to Yoan Moncada just keeps on giving

Given Moncada’s struggles in a brief 2016 tryout with the Boston Red Sox, having success is certainly helpful as he won’t head into another offseason wondering when it might happen for him. Moncada doesn’t compare the two situations because of playing time -- he was limited to 20 plate appearances over a month in 2016. But he agrees his recent play is good for the psyche.

“It’s important for my confidence, especially thinking about next year,” Moncada said through an interpreter. “With this run, I have been able to have more confidence and believe in myself and my talent, and I think that’s something I can carry into next season.”

“This offseason is going to be different because I’ve been able to play almost every day. I have more confidence in myself. I know the game better. Last season I had an opportunity to be at this level a little bit, but it wasn’t the same. This year is the opposite because I’ve been playing a lot and have been able to handle good and bad stretches at this level.”

While a reduction in strikeout-rate is still needed to be more effective, Moncada has begun to establish himself as a major league hitter. It’s exactly how teammate and mentor Jose Abreu hoped Moncada would spend his time this season.

“He has to get to know a lot of things at this level,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “The game, the pitchers, the culture here -- there’s a lot of little things he has to get to know here. The way you can work through it is give your best every day and try to learn as much as you can and try to use all your knowledge and to pool your knowledge on each play in the game. That’s the only way you can get results and you can build on those results and this experience for the future. I think he’s finally doing it and that’s important for him and for us thinking of the next season and beyond.”

Renteria not only likes the pitch recognition but the way that Moncada has tried to hit through the shift several times against Houston. Though the White Sox never wavered, they’re certainly happy to see Moncada produce the way they thought he eventually would.

“He’s starting to slow it down a little more,” Renteria said. “He’s starting to see more of the landscape and making adjustments in general. It’s been a good run for him. We thought he would show signs of growth at the end of the season and he’s doing that.”

Look away, White Sox fans: Chris Sale makes history

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USA TODAY

Look away, White Sox fans: Chris Sale makes history

This one may sting a bit, White Sox fans.  

On Wednesday evening, former White Sox ace Chris Sale accomplished a feat that no other American League pitcher has since 1999. The current Red Sox left-hander whiffed his 300th batter of the season, becoming the first A.L. hurler since Pedro Martinez to do so. 

Sale reached the impressive milestone in a dominant eight-inning, 13-strikeout gem. Vintage. 

Overall on the season, he's posted a 2.75 ERA with opponents hitting a mere .203 against him. Before his postseason debut in October, Sale has a shot at leading two franchises in season strikeout totals: 

The consolation on the South Side is that the prized prospect acquired in the Sale blockbuster had a pretty nice night himself. Yoan Moncada drilled a two-run blast in Houston, his seventh since being called up from Triple-A Charlotte on July 19. 

The great trade debate wages on.