SEATTLE -- Adam Dunn was not the least bit surprised.
This has been the season from the netherworld for the $56 million slugger, so when he was informed that manager Ozzie Guillen planned to talk to him about reduced playing time, Dunn took it in stride.
"I'm a realist, not an idiot,'' Dunn said before the game Sunday. "We're right in the middle of things. What do you do? What do you say?"
The subject of his failure to produce - Dunn is batting .163 with 156 strikeouts - numbers that put his season among the worst ever by a major league player - has become an increasingly irritating one for the good-natured Texan.
"He has handled it very, very good,'' manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Every time he gets an at-bat, my heart stops just because I want him to produce for him and for us, but at least for him to feel better that he can help some time.''
Dunn appreciated Guillen's thoughts, "but that gets me nowhere, other than sanity,'' he said Sunday. "I don't know how else to handle it. I can take shoelaces out of my shoes but other than that, that's all I can do.''
"These are the guys who matter when it comes down to it,'' he said, looking around the visitors clubhouse at Safeco Field. "That's the hardest part about the whole thing. If it was me, I could get over it. But it's the guys in here. I don't know how else to put it. It sucks. I don't know what else to tell you other than it sucks."
Dayan Viciedo's arrival from AAA gives Guillen more lineup flexibility and opens the door to sit Dunn. Viciedo made an almost instant impact, breaking a scoreless tie with a three-run home run in the fourth inning. Against Mariners left-hander Jason Vargas, Dunn was benched on Sunday with Brent Lillibridge at first base, Viciedo in right field and Paul Konerko at designated hitter. Dunn has been playing first against right-handers because of Konerko's sore calf, but Viciedo can play first and could be used as a DH against right-handers with Dunn on the bench.
"I'll talk to [Dunn] about it, the way we are going to use him,'' Guillen said. "I'm not going to just bench him right away. But obviously I'm going to try to make the best lineup that's right for the ballclub. If I don't think he's the right one, he'll be on the bench.
"I hope I never see a thing like that again. He handle it very, very good. He never drag people down. He never push his head down. Obviously it's frustrating and obviously he's embarrassed. He should. But he just keeps playing. So do we.
"He feels horrible because he can't help the ballclub. As a human being, I don't care how tough you are. You have to feel bad. Maybe not because of the fans or [chairman] Jerry [Reinsdorf] or [general manager] Kenny [Williams] paid this money. Just because his teammates, they are more important than the fans or people booing him or paying him.''