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Ozzie Guillen: Adam Dunn should come prepared to White Sox’ spring training

Updated: September 9, 2011 12:41AM

MINNEAPOLIS — Adam Dunn was out of the White Sox’ starting lineup again Sunday, and that still wasn’t a bad thing as the South Siders closed out a sweep of the Minnesota Twins at Target Field with the 7-0 victory.

The Sox are now 11-10 when their big-ticket free-agent acquisition is greeting teammates in the dugout rather than haunting them with his .163 batting average. Manager Ozzie Guillen is giving Dunn another “mental break,’’ but he’s not sure how long it will last.

Guillen did say that it would benefit Dunn to show up to spring training next year in baseball shape.

“I think you learn with a cost,’’ Guillen said. “You learn what happens. Before, when you have a good career and you do one thing, nothing. And you come out and resolve your problem, fine. But I think he should learn his lesson. He has to stay in shape now. He’s not 22 years old anymore. He’s playing in a league that requires more physical and mental things. I don’t care what people say. National League pitching isn’t the same as the American League pitching. I doubt that.

“Now he has to learn and prepare himself better. It happened to [Paul Konerko]. That happened to [Mark] Buehrle. Buehrle never did anything [in the offseason]. He just grabbed a ball. Now it’s a different thing. You’re getting older. The league and people get you. He has to put himself in shape and come to spring training in shape and stay there. If you don’t come to spring training in shape, you get hurt.’’

Guillen admitted that he even came into camp out of shape later in his career and it hurt him. Running and lifting is one thing, but Dunn said on the first day of camp that he didn’t swing a bat the entire offseason. Not exactly what a team wants to hear from a four-year,
$56 million investment.

“He already should know he has a bad season,’’ Guillen said. “I think he should throw everything away and see what he can do the next 11/2 months.’’

Can’t blame it on Rios

Outfielder Alex Rios also has been in the line of fire of Sox fans, but after tinkering with his swing again, he might be on to something.

He went 3-for-4 on Saturday and 2-for-4 on Sunday, including his seventh home run of the year and first in 132 at-bats.

“I hope he can swing the bat like that,’’ Guillen said. “We need it. He’s going to play. I don’t know how much he’s going to play. He has to play to make this club better, especially vs. lefties.’’

Peavy pacing himself

Back-to-back solid outings from Jake Peavy have the veteran right-hander thinking that his new approach of pacing himself in the middle innings might be working.

“I got on some pitches when I needed to get on them,’’ Peavy said of his eight innings of scoreless ball. “Other than that, change speeds. It’s a whole different game when you have an early lead like I did.’’

Peavy has thrown more than 100 pitches in three consecutive starts. He threw 108 on Sunday.

All in the family

The Sox might want to stay away from having front-office family members in the farm system. Kenneth Williams and Tyler Williams — both sons of general manager Ken Williams — are having a rough time.

Kenneth is hitting .203 with 63 strikeouts in 251 at-bats for Class AA Birmingham. Tyler, picked up from the Arizona Diamondbacks, has 34 strikeouts in 44 at-bats for the two organizations’ rookie-league teams.

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