Despite low average, Adam Dunn is ‘swinging better,’ Robin Ventura says
BY TONI GINNETTI firstname.lastname@example.org April 26, 2013 10:42PM
Updated: May 29, 2013 8:04AM
Any indication that Adam Dunn’s bat is coming around is a positive sign for the White Sox.
“He’s swinging better and I like him in that [cleanup] spot,’’ manager Robin Ventura repeated Friday. “If he walks or is having good at-bats and gets on base with [Paul Konerko] and [Conor] Gillaspie coming up behind him, he can be dangerous, or he’ll give [Alex] Rios good pitches to see, so it’s a good spot for him.’’
With two hits Friday, Dunn lifted his average to .128. He has five hits in his last 54 at-bats.
But his demeanor always has been positive during his slumps.
“As far as what we get inside the clubhouse as a teammate, he’s about as good as it gets,’’ Ventura said. “He’s upbeat and just wants to win. That part is never in question.
“But we’re playing baseball, and it’s about what goes on out here [on the field] and what we’re doing, so you make decisions based on that, too.’’
Jeff Keppinger and Dewayne Wise were scratched Friday. Keppinger had lower-back tightness and Wise had a stiff neck. Both are day-to-day.
Keppinger’s problem developed late in Thursday’s game. He got treatment Friday but wasn’t able to play by game time.
He has a three-game hitting streak (6-for-12, .500).
“That’s why you have extra guys,’’ Ventura said. “Injuries happen. We’ve had a couple unfortunate ones with Gordon [Beckham, hamate bone] and [Angel] Sanchez [back] and [Dayan] Viciedo [strained oblique.] Teams deal with injuries and you keep going.’’
Injuries are affecting the minor leagues as well. Outfielder Jared Mitchell was placed on the disabled list Friday at Class AA Birmingham with a right-oblique strain.
Getting a break
Gavin Floyd looks for his first victory Saturday, hoping to end the first 0-3 start of his career.
Floyd allowed one run on three hits in his last outing against Minnesota, working six innings.
“His curveball is sharp. It has a big break so I’m sure it’s a ‘feel’ pitch,’’ Ventura said. “It’s a big pitch for him, one he has to have the feel for and feel good with. When it warms up, it’ll be better for him.’’
Floyd also will look for his first career victory against the Rays. He is 0-3 with a 4.98 ERA in four starts.
Official scorer Bob Rosenberg will have a long day Saturday. He will start at 1 p.m. at the United Center where he is a member of the stats crew for Bulls games. Then he heads to U.S. Cellular Field to work the 6 p.m. Sox game against the Rays.