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|Bounce-back seasons from Adam Dunn, Jake Peavy and Alex Rios have the White Sox eyeing the postseason.|
CHICAGO -- The Chicago White Sox surprisingly lead the American League Centeral as the season reaches its final weeks. The team’s standing is largely because it has arguably the three top candidates in the race for American League Comeback Player of the Year honors.
Adam Dunn, Alex Rios and Jake Peavy all had crash-and-burn 2011 seasons before riding a turn around that seemed improbable at best.
In Peavy’s case, he is the only one of the three who was making his way back due to injury.
“I know that me Alex and Adam have been talked about in relation to that (award),” Peavy said. “That certainly would be a great honor. We knew coming into the season that the three of us had to pick it up. If you see what Adam and Alex have done we all took it upon ourselves to get it done and be supportive of each other.”
Dunn (.159/11/44) and Rios (.237 /13/ 41) are coming off of their worst offensive seasons. While Peavy was 7-7 with a 4.92 ERA in 2011, his first season back after tearing a muscle under his right arm. Peavy’s injury was so rare many believed that his career was in jeopardy.
“You have Jake coming back from a surgery no one ever heard of or ever had,” Dunn said. “I would split the vote between both guys. I am not being political. That is just how I feel because you have to have Alex in any MVP discussion as well.”
It can be argued that Dunn is coming back from the worst season in history, with the lowest batting average ever recorded by a batter with 500 plate appearances.
“I would have to go with Adam as comeback player (of the year),” Rios said. “Jake has been fantastic in his comeback, and he has been so consistent. Adam has put up big numbers even with a lower batting average, he should get the award for his production.”
The three selfless White Sox teammates all deflected attention from themselves when asked who was most deserving of the honor.
“ I don’t think any of us are concerned about awards unless it s a World Series trophy,” Rios said. “We don’t care about statistics or anything. We just try to help each other win games.”