GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Adam Dunn and his 4-year-old son, Brady,
walked into the Chicago White Sox clubhouse Friday afternoon, four
Brady ran up to jersey No. 44, perplexed, and asked his dad why
his jersey was so small.
"Little guy's got it now," Dunn explained, talking about Jake
Peavy, setting his things down at the adjacent locker, where a more
adequately sized No. 32 jersey was hanging.
Though he's indifferent about which number he wears, this will
only be the second season in his career that Dunn will wear No. 32
instead of 44. He also wore it in 2008 with Arizona.
The "Big Donkey" was the White Sox's big catch from the free
agent pond this offseason and is poised to make a huge splash in
the AL Central.
"No disrespect to teams I've been on, but this is a complete
team and these guys have proven it," Dunn said Saturday. "They
were a great team before I got here so hopefully I can just put
them over the edge."
The coveted left-handed slugger signed a four-year, $56 million
contract with the White Sox in December. Dunn is playing on his
fourth different team in as many years, but this his first stint in
Manager Ozzie Guillen has said he plans on using Dunn in the
field a couple times per week, but primarily as the team's
"My biggest challenge during spring is to find out how I'm
going to keep myself warm and in the game, not being in the
field," Dunn said of the role. "It's definitely going to be an
adjustment but I'll talk to some people who have done it and we'll
figure it out some way."
Dunn's anticipated power production from the left side fixes a
glaring weakness of last year's team, a void that dates back to Jim
Thome's departure in 2009.
"I have extremely high expectations for myself," Dunn said.
"If people don't have high expectations for me, I'm not doing
something right. I embrace the pressure."
Before speaking to reporters Saturday, Dunn has a short batting
practice session, his first time swinging since last season.
"It works better for me because I'm going to get into bad
habits when I'm hitting by myself," he said. "You've got 40 days
out here. It usually takes a hitter about two weeks."
Guillen acknowledged it would take time to get to know Dunn and
how he prepares, but supported his approach.
"I like when the players do that," he said. "They don't do as
much in the offseason and then come to spring training ready to
work. That's the way I did it. It's easier."
As for the batting order, Guillen has considered the different
options and combinations but had yet to settle on one.
"The first day we start games here I want everybody in the
lineup," he said. "See how they look and get a chance to see how
we'll play them."
Fondly recounting his days as a leadoff man, Dunn decided that
ship has probably sailed, but much like his jersey number, he isn't
too concerned about where he's placed in the lineup.
"I love playing," he said. "I don't really care, as long as
I'm in there."
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)