CHICAGO -- The topic of season-long slumps for Adam Dunn and Alex Rios has become one hitting coach Greg Walker basically believes he has addressed enough already during the 2011 campaign.
"We've talked about it so much this year," Walker said. "All I can tell you is both of these guys are working and competing. At this point of the year, that's all we can ask."
Dunn was out of Sunday's lineup against southpaw Derek Holland, with just three singles in 81 at-bats against left-handers this season. Dunn only hit .199 against lefties last year but posted a .268 average with seven homers and 28 RBIs in 2009. So these lefty-on-lefty numbers simply can be attributed to the overall struggles in Dunn's first year with the White Sox.
Despite going 5-for-26 on the current homestand ending with Sunday's 10-0 victory over Texas, Rios is coming off a go-ahead double in the eighth inning of Saturday's contest and his first home homer since May 21 on Sunday. Manager Ozzie Guillen has talked about Rios hitting into tough luck of late, and Rios agreed fortunes are slowly turning with a .248 average in August.
"Yeah, the last couple of weeks I've been hitting the ball pretty good," Rios said. "If I hit the ball good, good things are going to happen. And if I can stay, not where I'm at right now, because I want to do a little better and be in a better position, but if I can do that, I will be fine."
"They are working and competing, and they are fighting the fight the right way," said Walker of Rios and Dunn, who is 5-for-15 on this homestand. "They are not pleased. None of us are pleased with how this year has gone so far. But it could still end up well. The way you do that is you go and work and compete and fight, and hopefully good things happen."
Quentin day to day with left shoulder sprain
CHICAGO -- Carlos Quentin had an MRI on his ailing left shoulder Sunday morning, and results showed he has a sprain of the AC joint.
X-rays were negative on Saturday, taken after the right fielder suffered the injury while making a spectacular diving catch of Craig Gentry's first-inning blooper to right-center. Quentin threw the ball back in but then immediately signaled for medical help in clear pain.
That pain had not subsided for Quentin, who is listed as day to day, after Sunday's 10-0 drubbing of the Rangers. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen doesn't expect Quentin to play during the two-game set in Anaheim, while Quentin is simply going one day at a time.
"It hurts, but I just pray that it gets better quick," Quentin said. "We're not 24 hours out yet, so I have to remind myself that it hasn't been that long since it happened.
"Right now, it's early. Hopefully, in the next two or three days, we'll have a better gauge of what's going on with it. That's just the way it is."
Quentin is tied for the American League lead with 23 hit-by-pitches, while also setting a career high with 30 doubles and knocking out at least 20 homers for the fourth consecutive season. When he landed on Saturday, Quentin immediately thought those numbers basically would stand for the season as he heard a crack and thought his collarbone might have been broken.
So while the shoulder strain certainly is not optimal, it's quite a bit better than the alternative.
"There's a ton of inflammation in there," said Quentin, who expressed concern the injury could affect him while swinging. "That joint got shoved up inside. Just get the inflammation out, that's where we're at right now."
Buehrle not affected by new catchers
CHICAGO -- When Mark Buehrle is on the mound, he likes to get the catcher's sign and throw the ball without much fuss. Rarely will the veteran southpaw shake off the pitch call from his backstop.
Of course, with A.J. Pierzynski and Ramon Castro being very familiar with Buehrle's body of work, it's easy to trust in their game plan. But Buehrle actually sees a positive in Tyler Flowers and Donny Lucy getting to catch him, with both Pierzynski and Castro on the disabled list.
"To be honest, I think it's good," Buehrle said. "You get into a pattern with A.J. catching or whether it be Castro. I always think it's good to have a different catcher catch you.
"I know when Castro was here, he called more curveballs than what A.J. does. Sometimes A.J. gets in a pattern calling certain stuff. Obviously, when it's working, you keep going with it. But I honestly think it's good to have a different catcher back there every once in a while, just to call a different game."
Buehrle is the same pitcher who threw a perfect game the first time he threw to Castro, so he's fairly low maintenance. But he pointed to Gavin Floyd's nine-strikeout effort against Cleveland with Flowers catching this past Tuesday as a good example of mixing things up.
"Gavin struck out tons of guys on fastballs with two strikes," Buehrle said. "They were sitting curveball, thinking that's what he did a lot early in the season. So that's why I think it's good."
Pierzynski's rehab taking shape
CHICAGO -- A.J. Pierzynski took flips during batting practice Sunday and caught pitches from White Sox director of conditioning Allen Thomas as he continues to work his way back from a fractured left wrist.
Pierzynski will make the road trip with the White Sox to Anaheim and Seattle, taking flips again on Tuesday and Wednesday, and then resting on Thursday. If all goes well, Pierzynski will take full batting practice this weekend in Seattle, begin a short Minor League rehab assignment on Aug. 29 and return to the team by Sept. 2.
"So far, so good, and hopefully it continues that way," said Pierzynski, who will catch Philip Humber in one of those rehab starts. "It's about where I thought it would be. Until you get into an actual game situation, you don't know how it's going to go."
A Bruce Chen pitch on Aug. 12 sent Pierzynski to the disabled list for the first time in his career.
Konerko won't play first anytime soon
CHICAGO -- Don't look for Paul Konerko to return to first base during the two-game series in Anaheim, based on manager Ozzie Guillen's pregame comments Sunday. Konerko was hit by an Andrew Miller pitch in his left calf/knee area on July 31.
"Konerko's farther [away from playing] first base than A.J. [Pierzynski] is to catch," said Guillen, comparing Konerko's situation to Pierzynski, who is on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured left wrist. "He was moving laterally, and it was very painful. I think the bruise is very deep.
"That can change from one day to another. That's what the doctor said. The body can maybe the next day feel good. But right now, I don't see him [playing first base] anytime soon."
Look for Brent Lillibridge to get playing time at first base against left-handed pitchers while Konerko is limited to designated hitter.
Third to first
Ozzie Guillen said Sunday that September callups had been talked about but not finalized. He would like another catcher, infielder, pitcher and, of course, Dayan Viciedo.
The White Sox registered their 15th shutout of the season with Sunday's 10-0 victory over the Rangers.
Juan Pierre recorded his league-leading 39th infield hit and is hitting .437 with runners in scoring position in his last 13 games.