06/21/11 1:12 AM ET
Dunn happy to see Cubs across the field
By Paul Casella / MLB.com
In his first season in the American League, Dunn has struggled to a .182 batting average while attempting to adjust to both his new role as a DH and the different pitchers the AL has to offer. Dunn was hitting fifth in Monday's series opener against the Cubs, against whom Dunn had 418 career at-bats, which was second only to his 429 against the Brewers. His 41 home runs against the Cubs are more than he's hit against any other team.
"The best thing for me is that I'm going to get to see some guys I know," Dunn said. "It's not a foreign team to me. I've played them probably as much or more than any other team in my career."Unfortunately for Dunn, the familiarity didn't seem to help in the 6-3 White Sox loss. Dunn went 0-for-4, striking out three times before flying out to the warning track in right field in the eighth.
Along with putting Dunn behind Paul Konerko, manager Ozzie Guillen moved catcher A.J. Pierzynski, who had been hitting fifth, down to seventh in the lineup. Shortstop Alexei Ramirez was hitting sixth.
"I made some changes and put A.J. down in the lineup to help it a little bit more," Guillen said. "I don't want to be a dead team when we go to the bottom of the ballclub. I want to try to even it up and make something happen in the bottom of the lineup."Pierzynski provided some pop, going 3-for-4 with three singles, but the White Sox never pushed him around to score.
Guillen has spent plenty of time mixing and matching this season, as Monday's lineup marked the 51st different combination he has used in the team's 74 games this season. He said his ideal lineup would be having Dunn back ahead of Konerko, but that hinges on Dunn's performance at the plate.
"I think Dunn should be batting third. That's the reason we paid him a lot of money," Guillen said. "Hopefully, he starts swinging the bat better and I can move him back to batting third as quickly as I can."
GM Williams: Fixing fundamentals the key
CHICAGO -- For White Sox general manager Ken Williams, shaping up fundamentally is more important to staying in contention than tinkering with the roster or players busting out of slumps.
Speaking before Monday's series opener with the Cubs, Williams said he believes most of the pieces are already in place for the team to be successful and it's just a matter of improving things like slowing down the opponents' running game and converting with runners in scoring position,
"If you are going to play championship baseball, you have to be fundamentally sound," Williams said. "You have to catch the ball, you have to execute. When you're fighting tooth-and-nail for every ballgame, those things become very glaring."
After an offseason in which the team went "all in", signing Adam Dunn and bringing back A.J. Pierzynski and Paul Konerko, Williams said he doesn't see the need, nor does the team have the financial ability, to make any roster moves.
"The one good thing is, when you have a team that is struggling to gain consistency that has players who have performed at a high level, you can be optimistic and look forward to [the] next game and series," Williams said. "If we didn't have those players, I wouldn't be looking forward to the rest of the schedule."
Beckham gets another day to relax
CHICAGO -- White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen is hoping a couple days off for Gordon Beckham will help the second baseman turn things around the way he did last year.
With just two hits in his last 23 at-bats, including an 0-or-11 stretch in his last three games, Beckham was not in the lineup again on Monday after also getting the day off for Sunday's finale against the D-backs.
"The last three games I just did not play well," Beckham said. "Sometimes you lose that feel for a little bit. I think it's been just a couple games, so I don't know. I feel relatively good in flips, did some extra work today and hopefully get back in there Tuesday and get back on track."
Early struggles aren't completely unfamiliar for Beckham, who was hitting just .199 on June 25 last year. He raised his batting average to .252 by the end of last season.
"If I did it to [Adam] Dunn and [Alex] Rios, I will do it to him," Guillen said of resting Beckham. "But it's not a punishment thing. I think right now, mentally he's not there. That's why I'm going to give him a couple days."
White Sox sign 23 Draft picks
CHICAGO -- The White Sox announced on Monday that they have agreed to terms with 23 of their 50 selections from this year's First-Year Player Draft, including three players drafted in the first 10 rounds.
The team reached deals with pitchers Kyle McMillen, a fourth-round pick, and Scott Snodgress, a fifth-round pick, as well as catcher Kevan Smith, a seventh-round pick.
Four of the White Sox other Draft picks are currently playing in the NCAA College World Series, including right-hander Erik Johnson, a second-round pick out of the University of California. Two others, infielder Marcus Semien, a sixth-round pick, and catcher Chadd Krist, 13th-round pick, are also playing for the Golden Bears. Right-handed pitcher Cody Winiarski, drafted in the 36th round, is playing for the University of Virginia.
Third to first
With his 385th homer, Paul Konerko passed Harold Baines and moved into a tie for 55th on the all-time home run list with Dwight Evans. The White Sox have lost three Interleague games this season (4-3) after losing only three all of last season when they went 15-3.
Paul Casella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.