Manager Ozzie Guillen wasn’t sure if Dunn’s issues are affecting him mentally, he only knows what’s going on in his own mind.
“It got in my head, it does,” Guillen said. “If I no care about him, then it’s not in my head. But I do care about him. I do care about my players.”
It’s because Guillen and his coaches care so much that they brought in two rehabbing minor league pitchers, Garrett Johnson and Stephen Sauer, to pitch to Dunn and try and get him back on track. Johnson and Sauer, who have been with the team since last week, once again threw live batting practice to Dunn prior to Monday’s game.
“At least we can say we know we tried to help him . . . the best we can,” Guillen said. “That’s part of our job and we will continue to do that, as long as he wants to -- to try and get him better.”
There was hope that Dunn would get going over the weekend when the White Sox played the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Dunn has a 1.031 OPS with 25 home runs in 69 games at Wrigley. However, his return to The Friendly Confines was no help, as he went hitless in eight at bats with four more strikeouts. Dunn is now hitting .165 with 104 strikeouts on the year.
“It’s kind of hard to see what he’s doing right now,” Guillen said. “I’ve never seen anybody in baseball . . . go that way with a tough time.”
To Dunn’s credit, though he’s clearly getting weary of the constant queries, he has yet to really bristle at the media’s questions about what’s wrong with him at the plate. Of course, his manager knows how Dunn can put to end to the constant interrogation.
“The only way you guys stop asking these questions is if he starts hitting,” Guillen said.
With the White Sox starting a critical stretch of 19 straight games against divisional foes, now would be as good a time as any for Dunn to do just that.