White Sox

Sox Notes: Dunn still healing, feeling feisty

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Sox Notes: Dunn still healing, feeling feisty

Thursday, April 7, 2011
Posted: 2:18 p.m. Updated: 3:30 p.m.

By Brett Ballantini
CSNChicago.com

A day after likening his healing powers to that of Wolverine from the X-Men, Adam Dunn was disappointed to still be feeling the effects of the operation to remove his appendix early on Wednesday morning.

I feel about like yesterday, he said. I thought I would be a lot better than what I am, and its very disappointing, actually I tried everything last night and today to play and it aint happening.

Teammate Paul Konerko feels for Dunn, who was looking forward to making a splashy debut in Chicago.

I know hes excited to get out here, Konerko said. I know it was a blow to him not to be able to get to this game today, but hes going to be back in a couple of days and itll be like it never happened. Hes swinging the bat well, having good at-batsand when youre doing that as a player at any time of the year, you dont want to come out because you want to run that out as much you can.

Yesterday, Dunn had scoffed at the notion of being out for five days, and even in spite of his Opening Day setback, the affable clouter wasnt budging on that.

My timetable is tomorrow nowI just had to push it back a day. Hopefully tomorrow it will be better. Thats what Im shooting for.

Guillen, who teased with the notion of pinch-hitting Dunn as early as yesterday, clearly had shifted more to Peavy Treatment in terms of rushing the slugger back into the lineup.

I didnt even talk to him, Guillen said. I appreciate when guys want to play for you, but we have to be careful. When you have surgery, no matter how small it is, its still dangerous. We have the people who can replace him for a couple of days. Hopefully when he comes back, hell be fine.

Much has been made of Dunn, a former star quarterback in high school who committed to play for the University of Texas, and his football mentality.

Yeah, hes a tough guy, a big guy, and if he can swing the bat, theres not much else thats going to keep him out, Konerko said. When youre a middle-of-the-order guy, if youre not playing the outfield, if youre playing first or DHing, as long as you can swing the bat, youre going to be in there. But something like this, you have to go on doctors orders.

Dunn was bemused by the notion that football toughness could cause him to get his Roy Hobbs on.

I dont know if its that, he said. Im really disappointed that Im not playing in this game today. I know it probably doesnt mean a lot, its just another game to a lot of people, but home openers are really special, especially when its your first one. I definitely wanted to be out there and its not going to work.

Guillen was also hearing none of it.

I dont like players with a football mentality, he said. When you have a football mentality, you play football. You stay in the game. This guy is tough. He loves to play, thats the main thing Not because hes making the big money, but he wants to be part of the team and be out there.

READ: White Sox DFA Milledge, call up RHP Gray

Guillen mentioned that he has a number of players who never want out. Most notable is ironman Juan Pierre, but there are more.

We have a few people like that, Guillen said. PK got hit in the finger yesterday when he threw the ball, and he stayed in the game and had a big hit for us. Thats the type of player Brent Morel, Gordon Beckham and the Missile Alexei Ramirez have to learn how to handle tough situations from.

While Dunn melds his Will Ferrell personality with Paul Bunyan size, tall tales of his virtue, valor and recuperative abilities started to go too far before Thursdays game.

I can function, he noted. I didnt get my leg chopped off. I can function, its just sore and kind of tough to move around.

Another voice asked whether Dunn would be introduced along with the rest of the team in the traditional Opening Day introductions, which earned a chortle from Dunn: Im still on the team, I think.

Peavy Watch

Everything remains on track for Jake Peavy, whos due to make his next rehabilitation start on Friday vs. AA Albuquerque to throw five innings and 75 pitches.

Everything is going well, pitching coach Don Cooper said. He's pitching on the eighth, 13th, 18th, 23rd, 28ththose are his numbers.

Still, Cooper is adopting more of an Ozzie Guillen approachif I cant see them, I dont careto Peavys comeback.

To tell you the truth, were more preparing for Tampa than worrying about Jake, he said. We're certainly waiting on him. He's got some things he's got to do, and he's doing them.

Nothing is etched in stone, because who knows, something may come up, God forbid. We'll roll with whatever comes our way. Could Peavys White Sox debut be earlier? Could. Could it be later? Could. We just have see how things lay out.

The Carlos Quandary

Carlos Quentin has endured an up-and-down career with the White Sox, which is why even when hes going good, the right-fielders mental state is of utmost concern.

Hes swinging the bat well, Guillen acknowledged. One thing about it: We will protect him and not overplay him He makes one out and the second at-bat, we see how hes going to react. Hes been fine. Even yesterday when he had the double, I thought he was celebrating and he was kind of mad.

One thing about Carlos, I tell him take one day at a time. Hes the type of guy, from one at-bat to another, we dont know who were going to see. Not because hes bad, but because of the way he is with intensity.

Quentin, batting .500 through his first five games, hasnt let his incendiary start affect his long-term approachwhich in Kansas City he likened as that of a factory worker. He also was quick to acknowledge his teammates after yesterdays thrilling win over the Royals (everybody in our lineup is capable of quality at-bats and carrying the team) rather than claim responsibility for Chicagos bright start.

Still, Qs manager is happy to see one of his spring prognostications off to a swimming start.

Quentins swinging the bat very well, Guillen said. I predicted in Spring Training that Carlos will have a great year this year. Hopefully, he stays healthy.

Brett Ballantini is CSNChicago.coms White Sox Insider. Follow him @CSNChi_Beatnik on Twitter for up-to-the-minute Sox information.

The Yasmani Grandal Effect is real, and it's already happening for the White Sox

The Yasmani Grandal Effect is real, and it's already happening for the White Sox

It might not be possible to measure the effect Yasmani Grandal has already had on the 2020 White Sox.

While the team’s first big splash signing of the winter has been met with near universal acclaim — how could you not love a guy with Grandal’s track record of offensive production and winning experience? — plenty wondered why it happened in the first place. After all, the White Sox already boasted an All-Star catcher in James McCann.

Sure, two All-Star backstops are better than one. But with so much still on Rick Hahn’s offseason to-do list when the move was made, why spend big bucks — the richest contract in team history — on a position you already had covered?

Well, the 2020 campaign hasn’t even started yet, and already Grandal’s worth is evident.

As much love as McCann got for his skills as a game-planner during his All-Star season in 2019, the rave reviews for Grandal take things to a whole different level.

“I got to talk with Yaz for a while, I played catch with him today down the road. He’s already got a plan for me, how he wants to set up, attack guys, showing me the program he uses. It’s awesome,” new White Sox reliever Steve Cishek said before SoxFest kicked off Friday. “He’s ready to go, and it’s going to be a lot of fun working with him.

“Just talking with him today, it’s obvious that he knows what he’s doing and what he’s talking about. And then you see why he’s one of the best catchers in the game. And then how mentally prepared he is, we’re not even into February yet, and he knows what he wants to do with each and every one of us. That’s incredible to me. He’s just planning ahead.

“I introduced myself. He wanted to play catch, just to see what my stuff does first hand. … First conversation after playing catch, he’s like, ‘Did you see me messing around? I was standing over here just to see if you would start your fastball over here. This is how I’m planning on setting up with you. I watched how Willson (Contreras) set up with you last year. I like how he did it, but I want to try this way, too.’

“Are you kidding me? When can we start? Let’s go.”

It’s clear from talking to his new teammates — some, like Cishek, who haven’t even been able to spend much time with him — that Grandal is prepared to the point where he’s ready for the season to start yesterday.

Rick Hahn revealed when the White Sox signed Grandal way back in November, that the newest backstop on the South Side is the kind of student who asks for homework — then devours it in no time.

“We met with him in Phoenix (the) Tuesday afternoon during the GM meetings, but I think it was by Thursday, he had reached back out and requested video of each of our starters and wanted to spend some time getting to know each of them,” Hahn explained the day the White Sox announced Grandal’s four-year contract. “He had some familiarity from afar but wanted to spend some up close time learning their strengths and weaknesses and how to get them better.

“He and I, since things became official late last night, we’ve been texting back and forth about various guys both on our roster and available throughout the league. He really has a deep, deep knowledge of how to maximize a pitcher’s ability. He’s tireless worker.”

Though the White Sox have yet to converge on Camelback Ranch for spring training, that unmatched work ethic has already become apparent to Grandal’s new teammates. These pitchers haven’t had much opportunity to work with Grandal yet — as Cishek mentioned, he talked with Grandal for the first time Friday before heading to SoxFest — but they’ve already been blown away by the kind of preparation and the kind of work Grandal has done.

It’s the kind of effect a veteran with winning experience can have on a young group.

“I haven't personally thrown to him, but having conversations with him about pitching and pitch mechanics, he's very intellectual,” Michael Kopech said earlier this week. “He himself is very serious about his training and his body and his regiment. It's refreshing to see somebody take that much pride in what their doing.

“Not that we don't have that already, we've always had that. But to have that veteran role step in and show you that you can do this and you can do this for a long time, it means the world to us, because that's what we're all wanting to get to.”

One of the White Sox other offseason splashes, Dallas Keuchel, has on multiple occasions talked about Grandal as an attractive selling point that helped bring him to the South Side. Friday night, he described Grandal signing with the White Sox as “mind-blowing.”

Grandal has excited pitchers who were already a part of the organization, too.

“When he signed, the first thing I did was I went to YouTube and I looked him up,” Dylan Cease said Friday. “First, I started with his framing highlights, because there’s a YouTube (video) of that. And then I went to his hitting. I was like, ‘All right. This is a nice addition.’”

That would seem to be an understatement.

Obviously, Grandal will be expected to add something special to the White Sox lineup, and his career .348 on-base percentage in eight major league seasons — not to mention a career-best 28 home runs in 2019 — ought to provide plenty offensively.

But Grandal is here to help the Ceases of the world, too. While Keuchel and Gio Gonzalez bring some veteran reliability to the South Side starting staff, the White Sox will need to see some improvement from both Cease and Reynaldo Lopez from the not-so-stellar numbers they put up last season if they’re truly going to contend for a spot in the postseason.

Grandal is making that his mission, to help the younger pitchers blossom into the stars their once lofty prospect rankings said they could be.

“This not being the first time (I’ve been through this kind of thing), I understand it’s going to be a process, and it’s going to take some time,” Grandal said Friday. “We’re not going to try and hurry the process up, we’re just going to let it be. We know what we have, and we’re just going to take it one day at a time.

“Once I have at least 80 games behind the plate, we’ll look at the bigger picture and start making the bigger strides and start doing the things that we really have to do. We’ve got to lay some sort of base in order to start building. I feel like we’ve moved in the right direction so far this offseason. It comes down to me and the whole catching group getting together with the pitchers.”

That kind of work is something Grandal has already shown he’s willing and excited to do. He’s impressed the pitchers he’ll be catching in their limited interactions, and while he describes a potentially time-consuming process in getting everyone to where they need to be, he’s still thrilled to be working with this group of arms. He continues to explain that it’s the No. 1 thing that drew him to the South Side.

Because as a guy who’s played in each of the last four postseason knows, it’s all about the pitching.

“As we saw in the past World Series, the Nationals kind of did exactly what needed to be done. They relied on their pitching staff,” he said, “and they got big hits when they needed it. At any point, once you get to the playoffs, if you have the right amount of pitchers, you can have a big win.

“Let’s just get there first.”

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SportsTalk Live Podcast: Live from Opening Night of SoxFest 2020

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NBC Sports Chicago

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Live from Opening Night of SoxFest 2020

David Kaplan is joined by Chuck Garfien as they speak with the newest White Sox winter acquisitions from this offseason as well as the current White Sox core from Opening Night of SoxFest 2020 in McCormick Place.

Listen to the full episode in the embedded player below:

Sports Talk Live Podcast

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