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.

Tyler Saladino, Jose Abreu homer as White Sox tie Padres in Arizona finale

Tyler Saladino, Jose Abreu homer as White Sox tie Padres in Arizona finale

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Tyler Saladino hit leadoff on Wednesday, finishing with a home run and a single.

Saladino's first-inning drive was one of eight combined homers hit between the White Sox and San Diego Padres, who finished in a 9-all tie at Camelback Ranch. Before the game, White Sox manager Rick Renteria said that Saladino, who finished 2-for-2, would see most of his playing time at second base.

"He's been developing and continuing to grow every single season," Renteria said. "The flexibility that he brings allows him to be in the lineup over an extended period of time. But we want to make sure we take care of him as we want to do with everybody else, kind of keep them all fresh as much as we can.

"He's developed into a pretty good major league baseball player."

Jose Abreu, Nick Delmonico and Jake Peter all homered for the White Sox. Delmonico led the White Sox with five homers this spring. Abreu went 2-for-4 and drove in three runs.

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Rule 5 pitcher Dylan Covey, who appears primed to make the Opening Day roster, allowed two earned runs in his lone inning pitched. Covey then headed to the bullpen and threw additional pitches there as the White Sox continue to build up his arm strength.

Veteran Anthony Swarzak allowed a run and struck out two in two innings. Reliever Dan Jennings allowed five runs (four earned) and four hits in 1/3 innings.

First-rounder Zack Collins drew a pair of walks in his only plate appearances and scored a run.

The White Sox ended the spring with a 16-15-2 record.

White Sox pitching staff nearly complete with prospect Zack Burdi headed to Triple-A

White Sox pitching staff nearly complete with prospect Zack Burdi headed to Triple-A

GLENDALE, Ariz. — With Zack Burdi headed for the minors, the White Sox 12-man pitching staff is all but set.

The Opening Day roster won't be finalized until Sunday and the White Sox hypothetically could find an attractive candidate to claim off the waiver wire over the weekend. But barring that, it looks as if veteran Anthony Swarzak and second-year reliever Michael Ynoa have made the team after Burdi said Wednesday morning that he'd start the season at Triple-A Charlotte. 

The No. 7 prospect in the organization, according to MLBPipeline.com, Burdi finished the spring with a 6.75 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 12 innings. Burdi finished his Cactus League on a high note with three strikeouts over an inning on Tuesday, including one of Kansas City four-time All-Star catcher Salvador Perez. 

"Man, it's been crazy," Burdi said. "Coming in and being the young guy in the locker room and then just progressing and showing a little bit more (comfort) around the guys and the veterans and then just being able to pick their brains and go out every day and try to progress. You get to the innings and you are facing guys you've watched your last 10 years of your life. It has been crazy and definitely something I won't forget."

Burdi lasted the longest this spring out of the cache of highly-touted prospects the White Sox brought to big league camp. Prior to escaping a first-and-third, one-out jam Tuesday, Burdi looked like he would allow a run in a third straight game after a hot start to camp (he only allowed a run in one of his first 10 appearances). But Burdi battled back and struck out Perez on three pitches, one of two straight strikeouts to strand both runners.

Pitching coach Don Cooper has been impressed by Burdi throughout the spring. But he also wants to see the Louisville product continue to work on command in the minors.

"You can't not see his stuff," Cooper said. "Everybody gets excited when you see 99, 100, 101. But whether you throw it 101 or 83 like [Mark] Buehrle you have to throw it to the glove with command, change speeds and all that stuff. But he's a big part of our future going forward. He's one of the names."

Burdi said he plans to operate like he has already spring and not pay attention to any of the hype. Though he'd like to play in the majors, Burdi is excited to play alongside the likes of Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez and Carson Fulmer in Charlotte.

"Once you get a feel for all this stuff and you feel how cool it is to be in the locker room with all these guys and play with them, of course you want to get back up here," Burdi said. "But at the same time, a lot of my really good friends are on Charlotte and I couldn't be more excited to go down there and play with them and make the most of the season down there."