06/16/11 5:45 PM ET
Ozzie: Dunn may see outfield duty
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
But White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen said on Thursday he wouldn't completely rule out Dunn in the outfield for a game during Interleague Play at National League ballparks.
"He misses a ball at first base, and it's one base or two," said a smiling Guillen, after mentioning Dunn in the outfield. "He misses in left field, and it's three bases. We'll think about it, but our outfielders are pretty good. He will get some playing time."
Dunn most likely will get an Interleague start at first base when the White Sox face Arizona this weekend. He may also see time there when the White Sox travel to Colorado (June 28-30) and meet the Cubs at Wrigley Field (July 1-3). It's a tough decision for Guillen, in that incumbent first baseman Paul Konerko stands as the White Sox most consistent hitter and run producer.
With Dunn starting to make better contact after a miserable start, the White Sox also don't want the powerful designated hitter to disrupt his flow at the plate with too much down time.
"He's been playing first base a few games, and he will play maybe one or two games out there -- making him work, keeping him with some at-bats," said Guillen of Dunn, who has started 10 games at first this season. "I like the way he's swinging the bat, right now. It's getting better and better."
"I'm seeing the ball good, which is a big key for me," said Dunn, who is hitting .185 after Thursday's 1-0 loss to the Twins at Target Field. "I've been feeling good here for a week or so."
Humber has no innings restrictions
MINNEAPOLIS -- Philip Humber will enter Sunday's road-trip finale in Arizona at 82 1/3 innings pitched, which basically stands as four times more than any previous Major League total he's thrown for an entire single season.
Humber has never thrown more than 148 innings at any level. But with eight starts in his last nine covering at least seven innings, the right-hander should easily surpass that total as the 2011 season progresses. Going above and beyond that number doesn't seem an issue for the White Sox breakout player.
"I feel probably stronger this year than I ever have," Humber said. "[Head athletic trainer] Herm [Schneider], the program he has us on -- as far as our shoulder program and everything -- making sure we stay in a routine.
"I've also done a lot less throwing in between starts. [Pitching coach Don Cooper] noticed I'm a guy who likes to go out there and throw all the time. I feel really good so far, so I don't see any reason why I won't continue."
Manager Ozzie Guillen won't study Humber's innings total, as much as how he looks on the mound.
"If his command and velocity is still there, [200 innings] doesn't matter," said Guillen of the 28-year-old Humber.
"I don't see why he can't keep pitching. He came in and was a first-round pick [with the Mets], and they take care of him. He continues to throw the ball very well."
Danks wants more respect for White Sox
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins are a great second-half team and have put together some miraculous comebacks to reach the playoffs over the past five years. Cleveland jumped out to a surprising start this season and is still hanging around the top of the American League Central, while Detroit is as talented as people expected.
Those statements are facts, recognized by White Sox hurler John Danks, who has respect for all four teams competing with his squad in the division. But in Danks' opinion, the White Sox focus simply should be on the White Sox.
"It's my personal thing. I think sometimes, no matter who it is, there's a little too much respect, almost," Danks said. "You need to go out there and play, and not worry about all the other stuff.
"Don't get me wrong. The Twins have played well over the last few years, and so have the Tigers. But we have, too. We know we are a pretty talented group, and that we have as good of a chance -- if not better -- than anyone else to make the playoffs."
White Sox returning to their second home
MINNEAPOLIS -- Sergio Santos (2002) and Carlos Quentin (2003) were top picks in the First-Year Player Draft by the D-backs, and among several former Arizona players who will return to take on their former club this weekend as part of the White Sox.
Of course, Santos was an infielder when he was with Arizona.
"I remember playing exhibition games at shortstop at Chase Field," Santos said. "So, that will be different. It will be exciting to go back and pitch there."
Brian Bruney (2004-05), Adam Dunn (2008) and Edwin Jackson (2010) also played for the D-backs, while numerous White Sox players have Arizona residences. But manager Ozzie Guillen stressed that this weekend is not a vacation for his team.
"That will help you mentally to be ready for the game," Guillen said. "But we're not going there for vacation and visiting family. We're going for business -- tough business -- the Diamondbacks are playing very well. They have a good ballclub, and we have to be aware of that.
"It's always nice to see family and hang around the house. But I don't want them to be in the swimming pool and [having] fun with kids when they have a job to do later."
Third to first
Mark Buehrle has made 46 career starts against the Twins, and is 1-6 in his last seven decisions against them.
Quentin has been hit by a Major League-high 14 pitches. The Twins, as a team, have been hit by 17.
A.J. Pierzynski has eight multi-hit games in his last 15, and is batting .423 during his seven-game hitting streak.