08/25/12 1:15 AM ET
Dunn looking to be aggressive early in count
By Scott Merkin / MLB.com
It's a total that reached 180 during Friday's 9-8 victory over Seattle, during which he hit his Major League-leading 37th and 38th homers and the 13th and 14th off a left-handed pitcher this season.
The truth of the matter is that Dunn doesn't care much about something he has done 1,989 times during the course of his career. Strikeouts are as much a part of Dunn's game as walks and home runs.
Even with that lack of angst over the whiffs, Dunn has thought about a way to alter his approach at the plate slightly while still staying true to what makes him successful. It's a change that might drop that strikeout total.
"I don't mean cutting down strikeouts," Dunn said. "I'm going to be more aggressive earlier in the count. I think that will eliminate, I don't even want to throw a number out there, but it will eliminate a ton of them.
"Right now, I pretty much look for one pitch, one location early in the count. If I don't get it, I don't swing. But I want to be able to kind of look not at certain pitches but at a certain location. Look for the location, and if any pitch shows up you'll be ready to hit it, as opposed to one pitch. That's my new goal."
As for the strikeout record, Dunn realizes other hitters will come along someday and probably surpass his lofty total. Dunn leads the Majors with his 180 strikeouts but also leads with 89 walks.
"Any time you make an out, to me, you feel the same way, unless there are runners in scoring position or a man on third, less than two outs, or you've got some pitches to drive and missed them," said Dunn. "Sometimes you are just going to strike out. They are going to make good pitches.
"A lot of times I put myself in holes by taking, which is also part of my game, so I don't really get mad about that. Those situations I alluded to, those are the ones that really fire me up a little bit."
De Aza's spot secure despite Wise's stellar play
CHICAGO -- Alejandro De Aza figures to make a few Minor League injury rehab starts to test his bruised left ribs before returning from the disabled list. White Sox manager Robin Ventura made clear Friday that the leadoff job and starting center-field spot belongs to De Aza, despite Dewayne Wise's 7-for-14 showing against the Yankees.
Then again, De Aza won't return to the lineup at anything less than full strength.
"Again, you're looking at how he's feeling when he comes back," said Ventura of De Aza. "I don't want him limping back in thinking we're going to have to have him play hurt. That's the main thing. When he comes back, he'll play. Dewayne's doing a great job so you just let Dewayne play until he gets healthy."
De Aza resumed baseball work on Friday and said he was feeling better with the injury that he sustained while trying to steal second against the Royals on Aug. 17.
"Yeah, it started with everything with the slide," De Aza said. "I feel like someone was stabbing me there. I couldn't tell at the moment because it was painful all the way. Then after two days, I figure I was probably [hurt]."
Reed building repertoire with changeup
CHICAGO -- Addison Reed's changeup changed for the better when he started thinking about the pitch in terms of his fastball.
"A changeup is a slower pitch, so I always thought you had to slow your arm action down and throw it differently," Reed said. "When it got good, that's when I started to throw it as hard as I could and let the grip do everything.
"Once I started doing that, it got more comfortable. The more I throw it, the more comfortable I get."
Reed, who became just the second pitcher in baseball history to record a save in each of his first three career appearances against the Yankees (joining Boston's Lee Smith in 1988), finished off the Yankees for save No. 23 by using that changeup Wednesday. He fanned Nick Swisher and Mark Teixeira with the pitch.
Although he has relied on his fastball and slider during his rookie season, the changeup is quickly gaining ground in Reed's repertoire.
"Honestly, I'd say changeup and slider are almost even," said Reed, whose string of eight straight saves was snapped Friday when he gave up two runs during a six-run Seattle ninth. "The next goal is to get all of my pitches even at No. 1.
"It kind of just all depends on the situation, the hitter. It's not just going to be lefties only getting changeups and fastballs. It depends on what their weakness is and the scouting report we have on them. I can throw all three of those pitches, lefty, right, doesn't matter."
Manto allowing hitters to be 'different'
CHICAGO -- White Sox manager Robin Ventura took time during Friday's pregame media session to praise hitting coach Jeff Manto for his work this season. But Ventura's praise wasn't steeped in adjustments of swing mechanics made by Manto.
"The message that he sends is each guy is different and I think he's allowing them all to be different," said Ventura. "But his message to them preached every day is being patient, hitting it the other way. He's done a great job. All these guys have come in here and worked and they've been doing a great job."
Ventura pointed to hitting coach and pitching coach as two of baseball's tougher jobs.
"Just because they're relying on basically guys doing it and that's all people really notice," Ventura said. "It's unfair when guys in those positions get fired for teams not playing well but they're not the ones playing. You see a lot of good hitting coaches get fired."
Third to first
The Commissioner's Office announced Friday that White Sox shortstop Carlos Gonzales was one of three Minor League players suspended following violations of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
Gonzalez has been suspended for 50 games without pay after testing positive for metabolites of Stanozolol. The suspension of Gonzalez, who is currently on the roster of the Dominican Summer League White Sox, is effective immediately. Gonzalez was hitting .209 in 58 games. Leyson Septimo, who has been on the disabled list since Aug. 17 with left biceps inflammation, began a rehab assignment by tossing one scoreless inning Friday for Triple-A Charlotte. The left-handed reliever has a 6.00 ERA in 12 appearances with the White Sox.
Chris Sale's 15-4 mark is tied for the fifth best by a White Sox pitcher in his first 19 decisions, according to Elias. Sale trails Gary Peters (1963), Billy Pierce (1956), Sloppy Thurston (1924) and Eddie Cicotte (1919), who all were 16-3.
Sale put together his fourth double-digit strikeout effort by fanning 13 Yankees in Wednesday's victory, joining Ed Walsh (four in 1910) and Javier Vazquez (four in 2006) as the only players in franchise history to accomplish that feat. The White Sox are 19-5 in their last 24 home games and are 22-4 against the Mariners since the start of the 2010 season.
Alexei Ramirez has produced six homers over his last 27 games after recording just two in his first 94. Paul Konerko is hitting .357 with three homers and five RBIs since returning from the seven-day disabled list.