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Adam Dunn homers, doubles to lead White Sox

Mar 8, 2012, 8:35 PM EDT

Chicago White Sox's first baseman Dunn waits for his pitch during their spring training game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, at Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe Reuters

Let’s not read too much into it just yet, but Adam Dunn is giving some strong early indications that he’s ready to shake off his historically awful 2011 season.

On Thursday, the big first baseman hit a three-run homer off Neftali Feliz in his first at-bat and collected an RBI double off left-hander Michael Kirkman in his second at-bat as part of a 6-3 win over Texas.

Coming into the day, Dunn had walked in three of his four plate appearances this spring. He’s yet to strike out in seven plate appearances.

Obviously, that’s not much, but it’s still a big change. Dunn fanned once every 2.8 plate appearances last season. Even last spring, he hit just .224 and struck out 27 times in 67 at-bats.

It’d be no surprise if the double off Kirkman pleased Dunn more than the homer. Dunn had just one extra-base hit against left-handers all last season. He was 6-for-94 with one double and three RBI against them.

The White Sox are poised to give Dunn another chance to be an everyday player this year, but if he does get off to a slow start, they probably won’t be as patient as they were last season, especially as far as playing him against southpaws. Some good at-bats against left-handers this spring would go a long way towards restoring both Dunn’s confidence and the team’s faith in him.

  1. vincentbojackson - Mar 8, 2012 at 8:58 PM

    It just takes Dunn a few weeks to warm up. Rest assured, he’ll be ready to put up an 0-4 by opening day.

    • lostsok - Mar 8, 2012 at 10:01 PM

      Spoken by someone who probably hit .200 in softball…

  2. icanspeel - Mar 8, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    On the bright side, he did so poorly last year it will be hard for him to do any worse, but could possibly be comeback player of the year if he hits anywhere near his career numbers

  3. jlove42 - Mar 8, 2012 at 9:56 PM

    Well we knew he could still walk, as he still somehow drew 75 of them last year…. last season’s.240 BABIP also helps with my optimism, just slightly

    • sportsland33 - Mar 8, 2012 at 11:38 PM

      Exactly, as long as Dunn can still take a walk, he still has the potential to be a useful player. Especially as DH, where there is no defensive responsibility for him. If he can hit .230 (which would give him a reasonable OBP) with 30 HRs that would be such a massive boost for the ChiSox offense above the black pit he was last year. And maybe if Rios could contribute as well…

  4. whinton1322 - Mar 9, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    Adam Dunn is going to surprise a lot of people on the south side this year. Last year he had a very long, drawn out swing where you could obviously see him throwing his hands instead of the bat at the ball. His swing this spring has been short and compact, it is very obvious he did some offseason work to get him ready for the season. Just give the guy the chance to open some eyes before he’s written off in the first week of Spring Training.

  5. kappy32 - Mar 9, 2012 at 4:27 AM

    Adam Dunn is my fantasy sleeper for this year. The guy put up HOF numbers before last season & still has plenty left in the tank. More importantly, I hope he turns it around for himself; from all appearances, Dunn is a great guy & a real stand-up dude who dedicates a lot of time & money to charities & other NP organizations in every city he has played in.

    • whinton1322 - Mar 9, 2012 at 12:24 PM

      I agree Dunn is a stand up guy who does a lot to help out the community that he’s in. However, I don’t know if I would say he was putting up HOF numbers when he’s never once hit over .270 in a full season. He did have the power numbers for the HOF but the rest of his stats have been very questionable. Whenever you have more career strikeouts than career hits its not a very good sign for the HOF voters haha

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