Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Daryl Van Schouwen and Chris De Luca

Adam Dunn: Adjustment to AL tougher than expected

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SEATTLE - Adam Dunn is feeling a little better at the plate. And he's 100 percent healed from his appendectomy - he's had no aftershocks like the Cardinals' Matt Holliday has been dealing with since he had his appendix taken out.

"No, that's not the reason I'm stinking, that's for sure. It's 100 percent healed,'' said Dunn, who was 0-for-2 with two walks in the Sox' 3-2 loss to the Mariners on Friday night.

The biggest reason may well be the adjustment to a new league. On the team's recent homestand, Dunn showed signs of coming out of his slump. He hit a pinch homer. He seemed to take better swings.

"Today was the best I've felt at the plate since I've been here,'' Dunn said after Friday night's loss, a walk-off win for the Mariners on Brendan Ryan's RBI single against former Mariner Matt Thornton (0-3) in the ninth inning. "I felt like me, and not a guy just out there swinging a bat.''

Dunn has been in prolonged slumps before, and considering his adjustment process to a new league and a new role (designated hitter), not to mention a lost week of playing time just when he was finding a rhythm at the plate, it's not a huge shock.

"Oh yeah, I have [been through this before],'' he said. "And it will change. And when it does everything will be right where it should be.

Hitters thrive on what they've seen in the past. It's why rookie callups often look great in a debut - nobody has faced them before - and then level off.

"Yeah, seeing guys for the first time, I knew that was going to be an adjustment,'' Dunn said. "I just didn't know how big of an adjustment it would be. You lose your certain comfort level. You've been in one league for a long time, you see the same teams and you know how they are going to pitch you. Here, every guy I see is someone new.''

Dunn, who had been dropped to fifth in the order when Carlos Quentin got hot, batted third for the third straight game. After slightly shuffling the lineup a little for a week or so, manager Ozzie Guillen went back to his opening-day spot for Dunn.

"Moving everybody up and down, looking for who's hot, who's not, it's not working,'' Guillen said.

In the meantime, Dunn continues to make things work in his new DH role.

"Uh...it's getting there,'' he said. "I just have to figure out a routine that works for me day in and day out. One day do something I'll do something, the next day I'll do the same thing and won't feel loose. So I'm still playing around with that. It's what I thought it would be.''

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This page contains a single entry by Daryl Van Schouwen published on May 6, 2011 9:06 PM.

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