08/27/11 2:55 AM ET
Dunn still confident in his abilities
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
"I'm going to try to get them not to print this year. Pretend this year didn't happen," Dunn told MLB.com before Friday's series opener at Safeco Field. "That's exactly what I'm going to do when this year is over with. This year will be over."
White Sox fans feel the same way about Dunn's inaugural season with the franchise. Chapter and verse already has been written about his historically bad .165 average, along with his 11 homers, 40 RBIs and league-leading 153 strikeouts. His slugging percentage and on-base percentage are a matching .292. And the 2011 splits paint an even bleaker picture for the 31-year-old veteran.
His home average sits at .158, and his three singles in 81 at-bats against southpaws almost defies logic for the left-handed slugger.
"It's not just lefties. It's everything," Dunn said. "Obviously, I've [stunk] against lefties. But again, it's not just off of lefties. It's off of righties. It's off of curveballs. It's off of fastballs. It's off of everything."
While Dunn still holds out hope that September can be a rebound month or even one to salvage the season, he certainly figures to lose playing time with Dayan Viciedo's arrival. But as bad as things have gotten for him, Dunn still has not lost confidence that his ability will return -- even if it's in 2012. After producing seven straight seasons with at least 38 home runs, he doesn't suddenly feel talent-less.
"No, you don't lose it. It's in there. I still can play this game. Somewhere down the line, it got hidden," Dunn said. "I'm healthy. I feel good. It's just going to be, this is a little blip on the radar when it comes to the big scheme of things.
"There are things where I've gotten into some bad habits that have been kind of muscle memory and hard to get out of them. We are still working to being more consistent every at-bat. In the offseason, I'll be able to take a couple of months off, and when I start hitting next year, I'll be able to retrain myself to how I used to do it."
Ozzie has more respect than ever for Thome
SEATTLE -- When Jim Thome was forcefully booed upon his return to Cleveland with the White Sox back in 2006, it seemed as if everyone in the White Sox organization came to the defense of one of the classiest players in the game. Manager Ozzie Guillen was one of the most vocal defenders of the Hall-of-Fame bound slugger, reminding the Indians fans what Thome meant to this franchise.
On Friday, Guillen had even more praise for Thome. Only this time, it was for Thome's class shown to approve a trade sending him back to the Indians to sort of bracket his career. Guillen believes most players would have told Cleveland fans, 'I'm not coming back,' only Guillen used more colorful words to describe the message.
"That's shows people in baseball how good, how much class Jim Thome has," Guillen said. "I don't think that many players do that, after they've been treated by Cleveland like that the way they treat him, and come back there without a chip on his shoulder. That's Jim Thome.
"There's only one Jim Thome in baseball. And I tip my hat to him. I have more respect for him than ever. And thank God Cleveland people forgot very quick, because they had the biggest standing ovation for him a few minutes ago. And they have a short memory.
"But I'm happy for Cleveland fans to give him a welcome the way they should," Guillen said. "They should forgive him for what happened. They should be embarrassed about booing this man for no reason.
"Now they have him back, and hopefully Jim will play good for them. But that shows people why everyone loves Jim Thome in baseball. Maybe no one is like him, and he shows people once again how he is."
White Sox refrain from making additions
SEATTLE -- There was no waiver claim put in by the White Sox on Minnesota's Jim Thome or Jason Kubel. Barring September callups and Dayan Viciedo's injury replacement for Carlos Quentin, who will go to the 15-day disabled list Saturday with an AC strain in his left shoulder, the White Sox roster doesn't figure to change.
General manager Ken Williams has talked about the White Sox not having money to spend after going all-in during the offseason and not earning the fans' total support during the disappointing regular season, resulting in an attendance drop. But Williams seemed surprised to even hear about the Kubel claim when contacted by MLB.com via e-mail on Thursday, pointing out that the first he knew of it was when another writer contacted him.
Pierzynski closing in on rehab assignment
SEATTLE -- A.J. Pierzynski's fractured left wrist passed its toughest test since he was struck by a Bruce Chen pitch on Aug. 12, as the veteran catcher handled Gavin Floyd's bullpen session prior to Friday's 4-2 victory over the Mariners and took part in full batting practice.
"All good. All positive," Pierzynski said. "We'll do it again tomorrow and see how it reacts, and then go from there."
Pierzynski would love to be activated from the disabled list when he is eligible on Sunday, but understands three Minor League rehab contests for Triple-A Charlotte are in his future early next week, including one game where he will catch Philip Humber. If all goes well there, he would come back to face the Tigers in Detroit next weekend.
Third to first
Since June 18, the White Sox pitching staff has a 2.52 ERA.
Jake Peavy raised his career mark to 5-1, with a 2.12 ERA and 41 strikeouts over 46 2/3 innings lifetime against the Mariners via his six-inning effort in Friday's 4-2 victory at Safeco Field.
Juan Pierre extended his hitting streak to seven games.