The start of interleague play was always tough decision time for manager Ozzie Guillen when he had Jim Thome on the team. He didn't want the DH to miss numerous games in the National League parks, where the DH is nothing more than a pinch-hitter, but he knew he couldn't start the aging veteran at first because of the injury concerns that came along with him.
That is not the case with Adam Dunn, and that's why Guillen will start working Dunn into the first-base mix over the next few weeks. Sunday was Dunn's second start of the year at first, and he continued to show that he could handle the workload on defense without being that much of a downgrade there.
The hope is that Dunn will be able to get a little interleague work in, but also be available for later in the year when the weather gets warmer and players start to tire.
"Late in the season, a little bit more," Guillen said. "Early in the season, P.K.'s (Paul Konerko) fine, swinging the bat good. Obviously, I need somebody to help P.K. at first base. (Dunn) will play more than people think."
The nice thing about Konerko is he has seen enough work at the DH spot over the years where it's not a big transition for him. Players like Carlos Quentin and Juan Pierre, who Guillen has given DH starts to, seem to have trouble with that role because they are not familiar with what it is about or how to handle the dead time between at-bats.
"It's hard for me to bench P.K., but I have to do what I have to do," Guillen said. "(Dunn) will be in one of those (upcoming interleague) games."
What Guillen also likes to see from Dunn is that he is completely over the aftermath of the appendectomy that sidelined him for six games back in early April.
"I feel all right," Dunn said. "I feel better than what the results say. I'm going to do something every day to hopefully help us win. I don't care about the numbers. Win each day."
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