Reader Q&A: Mark Gonzales' White Sox mailbag

I know that the Sox are committed to Adam Dunn's home run production. However, I can't for the life of me, why he is put third in the batting order. Alex Rios or A.J. Pierzynski would be a much better fit. Dunn is on his way to setting the single-season strikeout record. Last year he set the record for the lowest batting average in 150 years. He does not move runners along, strikes out in key situations, or hits into a double play. He does walk a lot. Why not move him back to seventh and give the key offensive players more at bats? -- Jerry Davia; Mill Valley, Calif.

When is Lovie Ventura going to realize Dunn is not a No. 3 hitter. He doesn't make contact enough. All the White Sox strike out too much. What happened to Tyler Flowers? He looks like a right-handed Dunn. They have to learn to make contact more often. -- Ted Cee, Las Vegas

Why doesn't Dunn bat fourth and Paul Konerko bat in the third spot? With Konerko's on-base percentage in front of Dunn's power, they could score more runs. -- Bill, New Orleans

Dunn usually draws his share of walks, which is good when a hitter like Konerko is batting behind him. Dunn has 75 walks -- more than twice than what Konerko has. The Sox also have a nice lefty-right mix through the first four batters in the order, which makes it tough for opposing managers in late-inning situations.

Rios would do a solid job at the No. 3 spot. However, he is doing an even better job in the No. 5 spot as a clutch run producer. At the beginning of the season, I thought A.J. would be best suited in the second or fifth spot. But he's done a terrific job in the sixth spot driving in the likes of guys like Konerko and Rios.

Thanks to Dunn and Pierzynski, the Sox left-handed hitters have 175 RBIs this season and should pass their totals of the past two seasons by the end of the six-game trip that starts Friday at Texas.

As for Flowers, he works with Robin Ventura and Jeff Manto as early as five hours before games, but the strikeouts are alarming. I just think he's having a tough time not playing regularly.

Include me in the group thinking Chris Sale should have started July 8 against Toronto. He could have been pulled after five innings in his earlier start leading 16-0. What's the sense? Also, unlike many, I believe the starting rotation will be OK. But, there's a veteran need of a lefty out of the pen. How about Darren Oliver? He's having another fine year and Toronto is about done for the year as far as playoffs go. Considering Oliver's age (41), he shouldn't command more than a mid-level prospect. -- Bob Sagen; Fort Mohave, Ariz.

I think acquiring a veteran left-hander like Randy Choate (now with the Dodgers) or Oliver should be a priority, along with landing a starting pitcher as long as the future isn't mortgaged.

If the White Sox make the playoffs and have to play a Sunday game at the Cell, will they be able to wear the red pinstripes? Or is there some sort of rule banning 'novelty' unis in the postseason? -- Matt Boyter; Virginia Beach, Va.

Yes, they should be able to wear the red pinstripes. It also would be a marketing boom. Many people I talk to around the country like the Sunday reds.

With Dunn hitting all those homers, and Rios hitting so good could we have both in the running for comeback player of the year? -- Bill Baldwin; Simi Valley, Calif.

Rios won't win the AL most valuable player, but he is deserving of some votes because of his run production and batting average. That Dunn was voted to the AL All-Star team in the players' vote shows the respect he has around the league.

It looks like Gordon Beckham is what he is; solid defense but a very average offensive player. Do you think we could package him along with a couple young pitchers such as Dylan Axelrod, Phil Humber, Charlie Leesman, or some combination for someone like Matt Garza, Ryan Dempster, etc? Hudson could fill in at second base for this season. -- Ed Sikora; Auburn, Ala.

I know folks tend to pile on Gordon Beckham, but he is in a major funk right now at the plate; he's opening up early and his head flies out. Do you see the Sox making a move prior to the trade deadline here? -- Keek; Tucson, Ariz.

Yes, I think there is a reasonable chance Gordon could be traded. I realize he was hitting well in the second spot before the arrival of Kevin Youkilis, and that he has fielded as well as anyone in the AL. But this is a premier opportunity for the Sox to earn a playoff berth, and I believe Gordon's development isn't as advanced after three seasons as everyone thought it would.

Why is there so much angst as it relates to the White Sox kiddy core pitching staff? For the most part these kids have been remarkable and while I value experience, these kids are getting experience under fire and holding up well. Writers and fans should put the crack pipe down and let this season and these kids play out. -- Robbie, Memphis

Pitching coach Don Cooper would appreciate your email. However, you can't beat experience right now, and it will take more efforts like the one Sale performed at Kansas City on July 15 when he was pitching more with his head than with his arm by mixing his pitches and not relying solely on his fastball.

I was looking at the numbers of Gavin Floyd vs. Zack Grienke and besides 2009 for Grienke, I was not that convinced that he was that much better than Floyd? How would you compare them? -- Dan Hebreard, Woodridge

It's a no-brainer for me. Greinke is much, much better. And don't out Felix Hernandez. Seattle had one of their top scouts at the Sox's series against Minnesota.

This is somewhat immaterial, I admit but why have the Sox eschewed their black uniform tops? I can only recall their wearing them once early this season. Based on their recent woes maybe they should dust them off to get their "mojo" back. -- Jimmy D.; Sugar Land, Tex.

It's the starting pitcher's choice to select the jersey top before each game. It's been a hot summer, so I sense that pitchers tend to go toward the lighter colors, especially in day games.

When a minor league pitcher is called up and later sent down why do so many get sent to Double-A instead of Triple A? -- J. Graham, Carbondale

The caliber of player is frequently better at Double-A. Many times Triple-A rosters are loaded with retread major league players or players who aren't simply good enough to play at the majors, while Double-A players have a higher ceiling.

With the Marlins dumping so many veteran players, does Kenny Williams take a shot at getting Mark Buehrle back? -- Tom C.; Columbia, Mo

Funny you ask. That question was presented Thursday by a fan to Jerry Reinsdorf, and he replied with the following comment:

"The only thing I can tell you is that when Mark told me he had a $58 million, four-year contract, I told him he should take it. I really told him he had to take it, at this stage of his career. It's more money than he was worth."

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