Dunn said he got a needed pat on the back at the team's winter convention when the fans cheered him as he was introduced. Even though he recently ended a streak of 36 games in which he struck out at least once — a stretch of whiffs dating to last season — he's been mostly cheered during the first six weeks at U.S. Cellular Field.
"Obviously it make it a little easier when you feel people have your back," he said.
Dunn has been open to various drills from Manto to help him out. But what happened last season wasn't so much physical as it was mental. Especially after it dragged on all season.
"I don't go out and think about mechanics," he said. "When you get on the field, when I'm doing my best, I don't really think about anything except kind of seeing what I'm hitting."
And this year he's been seeing a lot better.
Entering Tuesday, Dunn was 23 homers shy of 400 for his career and had already walked 28 times this season, while batting .250 with 53 strikeouts. He was only 14 RBIs away from last year's total.
"It's a big thing," Ventura added. "You get a three-hole hitter out of what people were seeing last year compared to what you see now. The credit goes to him, the way he came into spring training and he's continuing it into the season."
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