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Sox still waiting for Dunn to break out

The Sports Xchange
 
Roster Report · Sox still waiting for Dunn to break out · Notes, Quotes
 

Three walks in Sunday's 8-3 win over the Dodgers might have been baby steps in getting Adam Dunn going, but at this point, the Sox will take anything.

Back at first base on Sunday after manager Ozzie Guillen tried to get his bat jump-started by giving him the nod at first on Saturday, Dunn again went hitless, and continued to battle with a lot of swings and misses. As far as the start at first base that was hopefully going to get the ball rolling, Dunn fanned four times in that game.

"It's hard to believe," Guillen said of Dunn's struggles. "This guy is a pure, good hitter. He's going through tough times right now, we all know that. He'll strike out a lot. The only thing I'm concerned about is taking every at-bat hard because then you lose focus on what you should do. You start putting more pressure on yourself, and that's not the right approach."

Especially at home, where Dunn is 6-for-60 (.100) and overall has just four homers and 20 RBI on the year. When the Sox inked Dunn to a big free-agent contract of four years, $56 million, the thought was he would be a 40-50 homer guy in the hitter-friendly confines of U.S. Cellular Field.

What the Sox are seeing now is a player struggling with his new team, and coming up with a lot of misses on bad pitches.

"Every time a hitter struggles, they start to swing at everything, and you swing at bad pitches," Guillen said. "Then you get desperate. I think mentally he's pretty (strong). He has confidence, and we have confidence in him."

That's why there are no plans to bench Dunn anytime soon. Even with top-hitting prospect Dayan Viciedo connecting on two more homers Sunday for Class AAA Charlotte, and doing so in the DH role for the Knights, Guillen and the coaching staff feel like Dunn is one good game away from catching on fire and getting his confidence back.

"The day I sit him will be just to get him a day off," Guillen explained. "DH-ing is not easy, especially when you're doing it in the first year. How do you prepare yourself? He just has to go there and get his at-bats."

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