CHICAGO – White Sox slugger Adam Dunn struggled to hide his frustrations.
Dunn missed his sixth consecutive game because of a strained right oblique, sidelined again against the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday. Dunn attempted to swing a bat twice before the game and took as many as 100 cuts in the batting cage.
Unfortunately for Dunn and the Sox, he felt his oblique grab despite feeling OK when he took a few hacks in the clubhouse.
“Standing here doing normal stuff kind of feels fine,” Dunn said. “Problem is I have to swing a 34-ounce bat, which is not that bad until you really try to gear up for it and it’s just not better yet.
“If it happens as bad as it was now, again, I’m done [for the season].”
Dunn will hit in the cages again today in hopes he feels well enough to play in the series finale.
“You just want to make sure they’re telling the truth about how they’re feeling,” manager Robin Ventura said. “We’ve already gone through that once with him saying it feels pretty good to pulling it.”
Lineup shuffle: Ventura decided to shake up the lineup as the Sox prepare to face two of the game’s best right-handers.
With Max Scherzer starting Wednesday and reigning AL MVP Justin Verlander taking the mound in today’s series finale, Ventura opted to stack the lineup with lefties, adding Dan Johnson (designated hitter) and switch-hitting Orlando Hudson (second base).
“I wouldn’t say I feel any added pressure,” Johnson said. “Kind of the track record for me is this situation. I feel like this is the time to go out and produce, and I feel like I’m going to do it, so there’s no reason to worry about or feel less confident in yourself. Go up there and do what I do.”
The Sox’s outfield also looked a little different Wednesday. Alejandro De Aza, who started 117 games in center field this season, was shifted to left field, switching with Dewayne Wise, who started in center. That alignment will likely remain the same until Dunn returns to the lineup.
“Well, in talking to him, De Aza’s a little more comfortable in left,” Ventura said. “It’s just one of those where if he feels more comfortable over there, go over there. That’s it.”
Twins series rotation: The Sox announced their probable starting pitchers for their weekend series at Minnesota, and left-hander Francisco Liriano is noticeably absent from the rotation.
Jose Quintana and Jake Peavy are expected to start, however, after Hector Santiago, who was supposed to start Friday, appeared in relief Wednesday, Liriano might get an opportunity to start. Liriano did not pitch well out of the bullpen in Tuesday’s loss to Detroit – failing to retire any of the three batters he faced and surrendering two runs.
“It’s both right now – mental and physical,” Liriano said. “Sometimes I try to do too much. Sometimes I try to be perfect. And the thing is sometimes I give too much credit to a hitter and [I’m] trying too hard to pitch instead of hitting my spot and letting the guy behind me make a play for me. I don’t know. Try to find a way. I don’t know what to say right now.”