Adam Dunn declares he’s feeling it
BY DARYL VAN SCHOUWEN email@example.com March 31, 2011 8:48PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
CLEVELAND — Adam Dunn is ready. The left-handed-hitting slugger’s home run in the White Sox’ Cactus League finale Tuesday — his third of the spring and second in five days — made him feel right after his customary sluggish spring.
‘‘I felt good at the right time,’’ Dunn said Thursday. ‘‘I feel good right now, and that was the ultimate goal. I told you I don’t really care what happens in spring as long as the last week I feel going into the season right and normal, and I do.’’
Dunn will bat third — his spot in the order all spring — in the season opener today against the Cleveland Indians’ Fausto Carmona.
Manager Ozzie Guillen confirmed that the Sox will go with four starting pitchers until a fifth is needed, meaning Mark Buehrle will pitch the fifth game in Kansas City on Wednesday.
Edwin Jackson, who pitches against the Indians on Saturday, is lined up for the home opener Thursday against the Tampa Bay Rays at U.S. Cellular Field.
‘‘They kind of asked if I minded or whatever,’’ Buehrle said of not starting the home opener. ‘‘I said, ‘Look, you guys are the coaches.’ Yeah, it would be nice to start opening day at home, but whenever.’’
Because of the day off Monday, Phil Humber, the temporary fill-in for Jake Peavy (disabled list), won’t be needed until April 9. He wouldn’t be needed again until April 19, so long relief is in his job description.
Lastings Milledge said the competition for a spot as the 25th man on the roster brought out the best in him and Brent Lillibridge. Both made it when the Sox decided to start with 11 pitchers instead of 12.
‘‘As it went on, it got kind of weird,’’ Milledge said. ‘‘I hit a homer, then he hit a homer. He made a diving catch, I threw a guy out. We made each other better. It was definitely good for me and the first time not being on the 40-man. It showed I’m mentally strong.’’
Milledge, a platoon player with the Pittsburgh Pirates last season, knows his place. He also knows he could become the every-day left fielder next season if all goes well.
‘‘We have a good team,’’ he said. ‘‘I know I’m not going to start, but I can create good depth for the team, give guys breathers and create some matchup problems.’’
Ninth and last?
Buehrle makes his ninth Opening Day start for the Sox knowing his contract is up after the season.
‘‘It doesn’t bother me,’’ he said. ‘‘It is kind of weird because this is where I’ve been my whole career, and you kind of know each year you’re coming back. Obviously it has to come to an end, whether it’s this year or five years down the road.’’
Guillen said shortstop Alexei Ramirez, who was treated for lower-back spasms earlier this week, is ‘‘fine.’’ Omar Vizquel, who starred for 11 seasons with the Indians, is ready to step in if the cold weather prevents Ramirez from getting loose. Left-handed reliever Chris Sale (neck) is good to go as well.
◆ Because of snow and cold, the Sox’ workout Thursday was limited to indoor activity.
◆ Jeff Marquez cleared waivers and was reassigned to Class AAA Charlotte.