MLB Notes: Dunn aims to rebound from miserable 2011

Chicago White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn. (REUTERS/Steve Nesius)

Chicago White Sox designated hitter Adam Dunn. (REUTERS/Steve Nesius)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:03 PM ET

He may be Dunn but he swears he isn't finished.

Adam Dunn hit bottom last season, his batting average a disastrous .159 for the Chicago White Sox while striking out 177 times. The 32-year-old hit just 11 homers, coming on the heels of back-to-back 38-homer seasons with the Washington Nationals.

"At the end of the season, my deal was to remove myself completely from it," Dunn told the Chicago Sun-Times.

Easier said than done.

"For a week and a half, I removed myself from everything, but it's hard to remove yourself from your job. That's your job. I didn't do it like I thought I would do, but that's good. I feel great. I'm fine. It's over."

As his woes mounted last season, White Sox fans wondered about Dunn's conditioning. The 6-foot-6, 285-pounder hadn't been in the best of shape when he arrived for 2011 spring training.

Team officials believe that since of the end of last season the first baseman/designated hitter has dropped 30 pounds. Dunn isn't commenting on that.

"I don't stand on the scale in front of the mirror or anything like that," Dunn said. "I've been swinging the bat a little bit and doing things (working out) I've always done, just a little more.

"I just know that my body feels good. I feel healthy. I feel great. I'm ready to get back. I'm just ready to get going."

SPEEDY PIERRE JOINS PHILS

The Philadelphia Phillies on Friday signed outfielder Juan Pierre to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.

Pierre, 34, hit .279 with two home runs and 50 RBI in 158 games for the Chicago White Sox. He also had 27 stolen bases, bringing his career total to 554 -- most among active players.

Pierre is a career .296 hitter with 16 homers and 484 RBI over 1,751 games for the Rockies, Marlins, Cubs, Dodgers and White Sox.

The Phillies also avoided arbitration with outfielder Hunter Pence, signing him to a one-year deal worth $10.4 million.

Pence, who was acquired from the Houston Astros on July 29, hit .324 with 11 home runs and 35 RBI in 54 games for the NL East champions.

FOOD BREAK FOR BRAVES FANS

With the weak economy eating away at their profits, the Braves have slashed food and beverage prices by 33% for holders of season-ticket plans of 20 or more games.

The deal doesn't include alcohol but, nonetheless, is "unprecedented" the team said.

Attendance has been dropping steadily at Braves games over the past four years.

RUGGIANO OFF RAYS ROSTER

Outfielder Justin Ruggiano was designated for assignment Friday by the Tampa Bay Rays to clear a spot on the 40-man roster for newly signed first baseman Carlos Pena. Pena is rejoining the Rays after one season with the Chicago Cubs.

Ruggiano, 29, played 46 games for Tampa Bay last year, hitting .248 with four homers and 13 RBI.

The Rays also signed infielder Jeff Keppinger to a one-year deal.

Keppinger, 31, hit .277 with six home runs and 35 RBI in 99 games with the Houston Astros and San Francisco Giants in 2011.

BRIEFLY

The San Francisco Giants added utility infielder Ryan Theriot on a one-year contract, the team announced Friday. Theriot's deal was reportedly worth $1.25 million plus $750,000 in incentives. A career .282 hitter, Theriot hit .271 with one homer and 47 RBI for the St. Louis Cardinals last season ... The Houston Astros agreed to terms with left-handed pitcher Zach Duke on a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training. Duke had a 3-4 record and a 4.93 earned-run average in 21 appearances (nine starts) in 2011 with the Arizona Diamondbacks ... Right-handed pitcher Rick VandenHurk was designated for assignment by the Baltimore Orioles to clear a roster spot for infielder/designated hitter Wilson Betemit. VandenHurk, 26, had a 0-0 record and an 8.00 ERA in four big-league appearances last season ... Right-handed pitcher Scott Atchison was designated for assignment by the Boston Red Sox to make room on the roster for outfielder Cody Ross. Atchison, 35, made 17 relief appearances for Boston last year, going 1-0 with one save and a 3.26 ERA ... The New York Mets signed free agent infielder Matt Tuiasosopo. Tuiasosopo, 25, played sparingly in three seasons for the Seattle Mariners.


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