Chicago White Sox

Sox Notes: Dunn still healing, feeling feisty

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Sox Notes: Dunn still healing, feeling feisty

Thursday, April 7, 2011
Posted: 2:18 p.m. Updated: 3:30 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

A day after likening his healing powers to that of Wolverine from the X-Men, Adam Dunn was disappointed to still be feeling the effects of the operation to remove his appendix early on Wednesday morning.

I feel about like yesterday, he said. I thought I would be a lot better than what I am, and its very disappointing, actually I tried everything last night and today to play and it aint happening.

Teammate Paul Konerko feels for Dunn, who was looking forward to making a splashy debut in Chicago.

I know hes excited to get out here, Konerko said. I know it was a blow to him not to be able to get to this game today, but hes going to be back in a couple of days and itll be like it never happened. Hes swinging the bat well, having good at-batsand when youre doing that as a player at any time of the year, you dont want to come out because you want to run that out as much you can.

Yesterday, Dunn had scoffed at the notion of being out for five days, and even in spite of his Opening Day setback, the affable clouter wasnt budging on that.

My timetable is tomorrow nowI just had to push it back a day. Hopefully tomorrow it will be better. Thats what Im shooting for.

Guillen, who teased with the notion of pinch-hitting Dunn as early as yesterday, clearly had shifted more to Peavy Treatment in terms of rushing the slugger back into the lineup.

I didnt even talk to him, Guillen said. I appreciate when guys want to play for you, but we have to be careful. When you have surgery, no matter how small it is, its still dangerous. We have the people who can replace him for a couple of days. Hopefully when he comes back, hell be fine.

Much has been made of Dunn, a former star quarterback in high school who committed to play for the University of Texas, and his football mentality.

Yeah, hes a tough guy, a big guy, and if he can swing the bat, theres not much else thats going to keep him out, Konerko said. When youre a middle-of-the-order guy, if youre not playing the outfield, if youre playing first or DHing, as long as you can swing the bat, youre going to be in there. But something like this, you have to go on doctors orders.

Dunn was bemused by the notion that football toughness could cause him to get his Roy Hobbs on.

I dont know if its that, he said. Im really disappointed that Im not playing in this game today. I know it probably doesnt mean a lot, its just another game to a lot of people, but home openers are really special, especially when its your first one. I definitely wanted to be out there and its not going to work.

Guillen was also hearing none of it.

I dont like players with a football mentality, he said. When you have a football mentality, you play football. You stay in the game. This guy is tough. He loves to play, thats the main thing Not because hes making the big money, but he wants to be part of the team and be out there.

READ: White Sox DFA Milledge, call up RHP Gray

Guillen mentioned that he has a number of players who never want out. Most notable is ironman Juan Pierre, but there are more.

We have a few people like that, Guillen said. PK got hit in the finger yesterday when he threw the ball, and he stayed in the game and had a big hit for us. Thats the type of player Brent Morel, Gordon Beckham and the Missile Alexei Ramirez have to learn how to handle tough situations from.

While Dunn melds his Will Ferrell personality with Paul Bunyan size, tall tales of his virtue, valor and recuperative abilities started to go too far before Thursdays game.

I can function, he noted. I didnt get my leg chopped off. I can function, its just sore and kind of tough to move around.

Another voice asked whether Dunn would be introduced along with the rest of the team in the traditional Opening Day introductions, which earned a chortle from Dunn: Im still on the team, I think.

Peavy Watch

Everything remains on track for Jake Peavy, whos due to make his next rehabilitation start on Friday vs. AA Albuquerque to throw five innings and 75 pitches.

Everything is going well, pitching coach Don Cooper said. He's pitching on the eighth, 13th, 18th, 23rd, 28ththose are his numbers.

Still, Cooper is adopting more of an Ozzie Guillen approachif I cant see them, I dont careto Peavys comeback.

To tell you the truth, were more preparing for Tampa than worrying about Jake, he said. We're certainly waiting on him. He's got some things he's got to do, and he's doing them.

Nothing is etched in stone, because who knows, something may come up, God forbid. We'll roll with whatever comes our way. Could Peavys White Sox debut be earlier? Could. Could it be later? Could. We just have see how things lay out.

The Carlos Quandary

Carlos Quentin has endured an up-and-down career with the White Sox, which is why even when hes going good, the right-fielders mental state is of utmost concern.

Hes swinging the bat well, Guillen acknowledged. One thing about it: We will protect him and not overplay him He makes one out and the second at-bat, we see how hes going to react. Hes been fine. Even yesterday when he had the double, I thought he was celebrating and he was kind of mad.

One thing about Carlos, I tell him take one day at a time. Hes the type of guy, from one at-bat to another, we dont know who were going to see. Not because hes bad, but because of the way he is with intensity.

Quentin, batting .500 through his first five games, hasnt let his incendiary start affect his long-term approachwhich in Kansas City he likened as that of a factory worker. He also was quick to acknowledge his teammates after yesterdays thrilling win over the Royals (everybody in our lineup is capable of quality at-bats and carrying the team) rather than claim responsibility for Chicagos bright start.

Still, Qs manager is happy to see one of his spring prognostications off to a swimming start.

Quentins swinging the bat very well, Guillen said. I predicted in Spring Training that Carlos will have a great year this year. Hopefully, he stays healthy.

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

Why Yoan Moncada's slow start with White Sox could soon be a thing of the past

Why Yoan Moncada's slow start with White Sox could soon be a thing of the past

Yoan Moncada wrapped up his first Crosstown Series — in front of the closest thing to a playoff atmosphere he’ll experience in, likely, a while — with an 0-4 showing in the White Sox 6-3 loss to the Cubs on Thursday. 

The 22-year-old had mixed results facing the defending World Series champions, striking out four times in five at-bats on Monday and hitting his first career home run off Jake Arrieta on Wednesday. His final numbers for these four Crosstown games: 17 plate appearances, two hits, two walks, two runs, eight strikeouts and one hit by pitch. 

Moncada is off to a slow start in his second stint in the majors, but he’s drawing plenty of walks (12.5 percent) and probably has been victimized by some bad luck (a .118 batting average on balls in play which, to say the least, is exceedingly low). 

Manager Rick Renteria, though, likes Moncada’s even-keeled demeanor and his ability to handle the ups and downs of the day-to-day grind of the regular season. 

“What he’s going to be able to do is minimize how much he gets wrapped up in frustration, as opposed to taking the at-bat, the last at-bat, going through pitch by pitch and trying to figure out what it was he wrapped in his approach,” Renteria said. “Younger players usually get very, very frustrated and lose that moment to gain some knowledge. Failure is not in and of itself a bad thing. It’s actually something that can produce a lot of positives. The thing is to try to get them to understand as quickly as possible so they can take those moments and gain information. 

“That’s why his even-keeled approach and even-keeled attitude (will help). He’s got fire. It’s not that he doesn’t care. That’s where people — for a lot of players who are calm or even-keeled, they have fire, they have desire, but they know how to compartmentalize and separate those things and try to gain something from every moment, positive or negative.”

Moncada already took that clear-eyed approach to self-evaluation in the minor leagues, and said that hasn’t changed now that he’s at baseball’s highest level. 

“I’m just keeping the same routine that I was using in the minors,” Moncada said through an interpreter. “And the whole year, I’m just keeping with the things that have been giving me results.”

There’s not much of a common thread between Moncada’s brief call-up with the Boston Red Sox last September and his first few games with the White Sox. Moncada was overmatched in his 2016 debut, striking out 12 times in 20 plate appearances and only drawing one walk. He had four hits, though, so his way-too-small-sample-size BABIP was .571. 

Moncada looks like a different player this year, carrying over his strong Triple-A walk rate (13.6 percent) to his nascent tenure with the White Sox. Eventually, the hits are likely to start falling as long as he doesn’t get out of the approach that got him here — and made him baseball’s biggest prospect in the process. 

“He’s been doing all the work that he has to do to adjust to this level,” first baseman Jose Abreu said through an interpreter. “He’s been doing his same routine from Triple-A and I think that’s something good because you have to stick with the things that are giving you good results.” 

Anthony Rizzo: More than talent needed for successful rebuild

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USA TODAY

Anthony Rizzo: More than talent needed for successful rebuild

Nearly eight months into their rebuild, the White Sox have accrued an eye-popping amount of young talent. The franchise continues to receive kudos even in trading a pair of relievers this week to add depth to what might be the best farm system in baseball.

But having the best farm system -- the White Sox have eight of MLBPipeline.com’s top 100 prospects -- won’t mean much until it’s realized.

Well versed on the subject having experienced it on his own, Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo acknowledged before Thursday’s 6-3 win over the White Sox just how uncertain the rebuilding process can be. In Rizzo’s eyes, it wasn’t just talent that got the Cubs over the hump, it was timing, too.

“It happened fast, but it could have went the other way, too,” Rizzo said. “We’re lucky with how everything turned out. Plus, a lot of hard work has gone into it.”

[MORE: Aaron Bummer on what it's like to get called up to the majors]

Similar to Yoan Moncada’s arrival last week, Rizzo was the first [hyped prospect to be promoted] after Theo Epstein’s plan went into place. Acquired the previous winter from San Diego, Rizzo reached the majors midway through the 2012 season with the Cubs only a few months into their rebuild. The three-time All-Star didn’t know it at the time, but he was the first new face the Cubs would introduce to their audience. While Rizzo often [was aware of skepticism of Epstein’s plan], he said he never felt the same pressure from fans. Rizzo also said he can understand why not all the Cubs faithful were on board.

“I think I was naïve and happy to be back in the big leagues,” Rizzo said. “You’ve just got to focus on playing baseball and not worry about everything else that you can’t control.

“I didn’t feel (pressure) at all. I know people were calling for the upper front office’s jobs. But they had a plan and they had a vision and they preached it the entire time.”

“As a fan I can understand why you get upset because you want to win. As a fan of football or whatever sport, if my team doesn’t win, I get mad. But obviously they knew what they were doing.”

So far the White Sox fan base has been mostly supportive of Rick Hahn’s efforts and embraced the idea of building through the farm system. But not everyone is on board with a 25-man roster teardown that appears to have the club hurtling toward its first 100-loss season since 1970.

This week’s Crosstown series is a reminder there are tough times ahead for the White Sox.

The Cubs lost a combined 197 games in 2012 and 2013 and 89 games in 2014. The second half of the 2017 season could be extremely difficult for a White Sox club that has traded Chris Sale, Adam Eaton, Jose Quintana, Tommy Kahnle, David Robertson, Todd Frazier, Anthony Swarzak and Dan Jennings all since December.

Rizzo thinks the way the Cubs handled those difficulties played into their success in 2015 and 2016.

“It’s life,” Rizzo said. “There are tough times in anything. There are going to be good times and bad times so it’s all about how you approach it and how you handle it.

“We always knew the potential we had, it was just a matter of going out and doing it. Ball’s bouncing your way, calls going your way and staying together.”