Levine: Dunn Gets A Kick Out Of Pitching Debut
By Bruce Levine-
(CBS) After pitching one inning and allowing one run in the White Sox’s blowout loss to the Rangers on Tuesday night in his first career pitching appearance, designated hitter Adam Dunn is poised for another opportunity in the future. Dunn gave up one run in his first ever appearance as a pitcher.
To get his first chance, Dunn made eye contact with manager Robin Ventura in the seventh inning of a game that was out of reach after five innings, and he knew he was destined to pitch at some point.
“I feel fine,” Dunn said when asked about his arm and body soreness before Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Rangers. “I wasn’t out there throwing 100 miles an hour. Whatever he (catcher Tyler Flowers) put down, I threw it. Obviously it was fun, and I wish I had not given up a run. I think that was a perfect time after (blowouts) twice in three days.”
Dunn was the second White Sox position player to throw in a game in 2014. Leury Garcia also pitched in May.
“Every team probably goes through a couple of those a year,” Dunn said. “I always wanted to get out there and see how hard it was. I knew how hard it is on the other side (hitting). It was fun, something different.”
The affable giant of a player nicknamed “The Big Donkey,” Dunn said he only threw at medium speed and had another 10 miles per hour of speed on the fastball if he really wanted to air it out. He was clocked at high as the low-80s.
“I wasn’t going out there to blow it out,” Dunn said. “My big concern was throwing strikes. I throw a little bit of everything. I was just holding the ball and spinning it up there.”
Ventura wasn’t so sure about the Dunn pitch selection, but he did feel it took the edge off Chicago’s second blowout loss in three games.
“He was kind of an imposing figure on the mound,” Ventura said. “He did what he needed to do. I did not like putting a position player on the mound, but in the end I did not see the difference between 15 or 16 runs.”
At the least, Dunn might have been the first pitcher ever to have a shift put on him when he took his at-bat in the bottom of the ninth.
“I am not sure about that,” Dunn said. “Jason Marquis and Jason Johnson were real good hitting pitchers. So I may call bull on that.”
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score and CBSChicago.com. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.