Hidden Sox assets: Adam Dunn and Alex Rios
By DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN email@example.com January 28, 2012 8:36PM
This is a 2011 photo of first baseman Adam Dunn of the Chicago White Sox baseball team. This image reflects the Chicago White Sox active roster as of Saturday, Feb. 26, 2011 when this image was taken. (AP Photo/Mark Duncan)
Updated: March 1, 2012 8:29AM
The way Adam Dunn sees it, the White Sox added two key players this offseason: Alex Rios and Adam Dunn.
Those former All-Stars contributed almost nothing last season, so you see where Dunn is going with this.
“We made two pretty good moves,” Dunn said Saturday at SoxFest. “That was hopefully getting me and Alex back. That’s the way I’m looking at it. We pretty much have the same team. We lost a couple of key players [Mark Buehrle, Carlos Quentin, Sergio Santos]. We have guys capable of stepping in and filling that role and do a little better. That’s what we’re expecting.”
Looking healthy, rested and somewhat lighter — although he couldn’t say how much because he doesn’t step on a scale — the 6-6, 285-pound (as listed) home run king gone missing signed autographs before taking questions from media. He was vague about his offseason routine, which involved working out and light indoor hitting.
“We’re doing some good things,’’ he said.
Dunn was specific about his mind-set with spring training less than four weeks away.
“I’m going in this year feeling as good as I’ve felt in a long time and just ready to get started and quit talking about it,’’ he said. “It doesn’t matter where you go, everyone is talking about . I realize that comes with that, but I really can’t wait for Opening Day. If the season started today, I’d be ready.’’
Dunn wants to invite new hitting coach Jeff Manto to his place in to work with him before camp opens. Dunn said he’d feel better about his offseason hitting if it were supervised.
While Dunn says it doesn’t matter, there are those who believe he will respond favorably to the styles of Ventura and Manto, who appear mellower than Ozzie Guillen and Greg Walker to varying degrees. Dunn didn’t bite on a leading question about Ozzie vs. Robin.
“I didn’t have a problem playing for Ozzie; I’m not going to have a problem playing for Robin,’’ Dunn said. “I didn’t have a problem playing for Bob Boone [in Cincinnati]. I don’t have a problem as long as you’re doing your job.’’
Not that Ventura will be less demanding. Ventura, while not naming names, was applauded when asked how he’d deal with high-priced players (Dunn is in the second year of a four-year, $56 million contract) who aren’t playing well.
“You invite him to the bench,’’ Ventura answered with a polite smile.
Dunn had his fill of those invites last season. Enough is enough.
“For me, the expectation is the same [as always], if not more,’’ he said.