KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Adam Dunn’s return to the starting lineup Friday wasn’t necessarily a product of the White Sox being eliminated from playoff contention a day earlier.
Manager Ozzie Guillen said he went with Dunn as the designated hitter because Dayan Viciedo had been struggling of late.
“I think right now ‘The Tank’ is going through a tough time, our savor,” Guillen said. “Remember the guy who was going to take us to the top? He’s had a tough time. I’m going to give him a break.”
Guillen had cautioned those begging for Viciedo against thinking the young slugger would just come in and take over for a struggling offense. Guillen’s point was that Viciedo would struggle too at some point and that time seems to be now.
Viciedo is hitless in his last 12 at-bats, over a span of three games, after batting .353 (18-for-51) in the first 15 games after he was recalled. Viciedo hit a home run at Seattle in his 2011 debut, but hasn’t hit one since.
Dunn has been in the lineup just twice since Aug. 28. He has just one hit over his last 20 at-bats and has struck out 160 times, second most in White Sox history. Dave Nicholson holds the franchise record with 175 strikeouts in 1962.
Dunn was the designated hitter Friday, batting sixth behind Alex Rios.