Dunn gets early start on White Sox spring training

Adam Dunn and his 4-year-old son, Brady, walked into the Chicago

White Sox clubhouse Friday afternoon, four days early.

Brady ran up to jersey No. 44, perplexed, and asked his dad why

his jersey was so small.

”Little guy’s got it now,” Dunn explained, talking about Jake

Peavy, setting his things down at the adjacent locker, where a more

adequately sized No. 32 jersey was hanging.

Though he’s indifferent about which number he wears, this will

only be the second season in his career that Dunn will wear No. 32

instead of 44. He also wore it in 2008 with Arizona.

The ”Big Donkey” was the White Sox’s big catch from the free

agent pond this offseason and is poised to make a huge splash in

the AL Central.

”No disrespect to teams I’ve been on, but this is a complete

team and these guys have proven it,” Dunn said Saturday. ”They

were a great team before I got here so hopefully I can just put

them over the edge.”

The coveted left-handed slugger signed a four-year, $56 million

contract with the White Sox in December. Dunn is playing on his

fourth different team in as many years, but this his first stint in

American League.

Manager Ozzie Guillen has said he plans on using Dunn in the

field a couple times per week, but primarily as the team’s

designated hitter.

”My biggest challenge during spring is to find out how I’m

going to keep myself warm and in the game, not being in the

field,” Dunn said of the role. ”It’s definitely going to be an

adjustment but I’ll talk to some people who have done it and we’ll

figure it out some way.”

Dunn’s anticipated power production from the left side fixes a

glaring weakness of last year’s team, a void that dates back to Jim

Thome’s departure in 2009.

”I have extremely high expectations for myself,” Dunn said.

”If people don’t have high expectations for me, I’m not doing

something right. I embrace the pressure.”

Before speaking to reporters Saturday, Dunn has a short batting

practice session, his first time swinging since last season.

”It works better for me because I’m going to get into bad

habits when I’m hitting by myself,” he said. ”You’ve got 40 days

out here. It usually takes a hitter about two weeks.”

Guillen acknowledged it would take time to get to know Dunn and

how he prepares, but supported his approach.

”I like when the players do that,” he said. ”They don’t do as

much in the offseason and then come to spring training ready to

work. That’s the way I did it. It’s easier.”

As for the batting order, Guillen has considered the different

options and combinations but had yet to settle on one.

”The first day we start games here I want everybody in the

lineup,” he said. ”See how they look and get a chance to see how

we’ll play them.”

Fondly recounting his days as a leadoff man, Dunn decided that

ship has probably sailed, but much like his jersey number, he isn’t

too concerned about where he’s placed in the lineup.

”I love playing,” he said. ”I don’t really care, as long as

I’m in there.”