Knee injury could be excuse for White Sox to place Adam Dunn on disabled list

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Adam Dunn was benched yesterday for the second straight game as his season-long slump gets deeper and deeper, and now the White Sox are saying the struggling designated hitter has a sore knee.

Or at least that’s the official reason manager Ozzie Guillen gave for sitting Dunn, although “we faced lefties in both games and Dunn can’t hit them to save his life” would have been a sufficient explanation. Dunn is 2-for-64 versus southpaws this season.

Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago writes that Guillen didn’t even know which knee was bothering Dunn, speculating that the injury may simply be a way for the White Sox to get him out of the lineup and on to the disabled list for an extended break.

Chicago is off today and for now Dunn is scheduled to rejoin the lineup tomorrow, but there’s a DH alternative crushing the ball at Triple-A, where 22-year-old Dayan Viciedo is hitting .311 with 16 homers, 24 doubles, and an .876 OPS.

Of course, getting Dunn on the DL and Viciedo into the lineup would be a short-term solution for a long-term problem, as he’s under contract for $14 million in 2012 and $15 million in both 2013 and 2014. Assuming he doesn’t retire, that it.

Alex Dickerson to miss 2017 season after undergoing back surgery

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Padres’ outfielder Alex Dickerson won’t see PETCO Park anytime soon — at least, not as its starting left fielder. The 27-year-old was diagnosed with a bulging disc in his lower back prior to the start of the 2017 season, and hasn’t made any kind of substantial progress in the months since. According to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune, he suffered a setback in his recovery process last week and is set to undergo a season-ending discectomy next Wednesday.

Over 285 plate appearances, Dickerson batted .257/.333/.455 with 10 home runs and a .788 OPS for the Padres in 2016. He missed several days with a right hip contusion last July, but hasn’t experienced any substantial health problems since undergoing surgery in 2014 to repair a torn ligament in his left ankle.

The expected recovery period for lower back surgery is 3-4 months, according to Lin, which puts Dickerson’s estimated return just a few days before the end of the regular season. The Padres aren’t scraping the bottom of the NL West, but their 29-44 record doesn’t bode well for a postseason run this year. Assuming Dickerson rehabs his back in a timely manner, he should be in fine form to enter the competition for left field next spring.

Video: Hanley Ramirez’s No. 250 career home run barely left the field

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Hanley Ramirez played a pivotal role during the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Angels on Friday night, crushing a two-run homer off of Alex Meyer to bring the Sox up to a four-run lead in the fourth inning.

Well, crushed might be the wrong word. The ball cleared the right field fence with a mere 350 feet, landing just beyond Pesky’s Pole to bring Ramirez’s career home run total to an even 250.

According to the ESPN Home Run Tracker, Ramirez’s milestone blast wasn’t the shortest home run of the year — not by a long shot. That distinction currently belongs to Rays’ outfielder Corey Dickerson, who skimmed the left field fence at Rogers Centre with a 326-foot homer back in April.