The common joke about Chicago White Sox slugger Adam Dunn is that the big man can only do three things on a baseball field: walk, hit home runs and rack up exorbitant strikeout numbers.
Well, he now can add a fourth skill to that list.
Dunn, a 6-foot-6, 285-pound designated hitter with 457 career homers to his credit, made his pitching debut Tuesday night in the White Sox’s 16-0 loss to the Texas Rangers.
“He’s been begging for that for a while,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said of Dunn, via MLB.com. “You’ve got to give the fans what they want.”
Though his fastball topped out at 83 mph, Dunn, a former college quarterback who backed up Major Applewhite for a season at Texas, handled himself relatively well on the mound. He allowed a run on two hits and a walk in his one inning of work, with the Rangers hitting just two balls out of the infield.
“I haven’t laughed on a baseball field like that in a long time, ever since I was probably kicking dandelions, in my early teens,” White Sox center fielder Adam Eaton said. “He had good sink, that’s all I can say. He was 80 mph but he had really good sink.”
One of Dunn’s pitches sailed way inside on Rangers third baseman Adrian Beltre, but he didn’t have to worry about any back-talk from the batter.
“If he hit somebody, we can’t charge the mound because he’s too big,” Beltre said.
Dunn was the second White Sox position player to take the mound this season, following infielder Leury Garcia’s not-so-successful outing against the Boston Red Sox back in April.