Adam Dunn returns after missing seven games with oblique injury

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According to Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com, Adam Dunn is back in the starting lineup this afternoon against the Twins after missing seven straight games with a strained right oblique. He’s playing first base in his return.

Dunn originally tweaked his oblique on a check swing on August 29 and hasn’t played since aggravating the injury on September 5. He took batting practice without incident last night and while he told Hayes that he realizes he won’t be 100 percent, he feels good enough to give it a go.

“It’s to the point now where I get it: it’s not going to feel 100 percent,” Dunn said. “My whole thing was, I don’t want it to be one bad swing and one anything and the season is over. That’s my big concern. When I swung today it felt fine.”

Dunn is batting .208/.340/.485 with 38 home runs, 88 RBI and an .825 OPS this season. With 96 walks and 194 strikeouts, there’s still a very good chance that he’ll become the first player ever to amass 40 homers, 100 walks and 200 strikeouts in a season. Holy three-true-outcomes, Batman.

A-Rod to join ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth

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Alex Rodriguez’s post-retirement renaissance continues apace. After starring as a studio host for Fox’s playoff coverage over the past couple of years, A-Rod is about to be named to, arguably, televised baseball’s top job: color commentary in ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball booth.

Michael McCarthy of The Sporting News is hearing that ESPN is going to give the gig, vacated by Aaron Boone by virtue of his hiring by the Yankees, to Rodriguez. There he’ll join Jessica Mendoza and whoever they get to replace play-by-play man Dan Shulman, who chose to step back from the Sunday night job following last season. This, by the way, marks the second time A-Rod has taken over Aaron Boone’s job given that he replaced Boone at third base for the Yankees in 2004.

The twist: A-Rod is likely to keep his Fox postseason job too. While some broadcasters work for multiple networks, it’s pretty rare for Fox to allow its talents to work for competitors like that. Apparently they believe keeping A-Rod — who five years ago was one of the most despised figures in baseball — is worth it. What a difference a few years makes.

In other news, Alex Rodriguez is likely to be shunned mightily by the current crop of BBWAA voters when he hits the Hall of Fame ballot in a couple of years. At the rate he’s going, though, their successors will put him in Cooperstown via the Ford Frick Award sometime in the 2040s.