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Despite slow start, Manto confident in offense, Dunn

Despite slow start, Manto confident in offense, Dunn play video for Despite slow start, Manto confident in offense, Dunn

CHICAGO -- White Sox fans who watched the team's offense struggle through the first 17 games, ranking 10th or below in the American League in slugging percentage, average, runs scored, runs per game, average with runners in scoring percentage and on-base percentage, might roll their eyes when reading the following prediction from Jeff Manto.

But the team's hitting coach has not changed his thoughts concerning this group becoming a dynamic unit in the not-too-distant future.

"We know this team is one swing away from getting real hot. So nobody is in a panic mode," Manto said. "It's going to happen shortly.

"There's no doubt at all. It's just a matter of keeping these guys above water, stay positive and go from there. They have proven track records. I don't anticipate these numbers staying the same. It's going to be fine."

Hitting throughout the consistent cold of April in Chicago or the Midwest, for that matter, has played a role in the team's slow start with the bats. Of course, other teams have played in the same weather and Manto certainly isn't looking for excuses.

He readily admits that Adam Dunn's 7-for-65 start to the season qualifies as "a little slump," even with the small sample size. Manto also believes Dunn can contribute more than hitting homers for the White Sox.

"Early on, his balance was a little off. But now he's corrected his bottom half," said Manto. "We saw better swings in Toronto and [Saturday]. We anticipate some more good swings.

"With these big hitters, you gotta be patient with them. They need at-bats. He's one swing or one at-bat away from getting hot. Once he gets hot, we all know what he can do. And he's athletic enough in the batter's box to hit. I don't think last year average-wise you saw the best of Adam. The home runs and RBIs were about where they anticipated. He's a good hitter on top of being a power guy."

Dunn broke an 0-for-31 stretch with a solo homer in the seventh inning of Sunday's 5-3 loss against the Twins.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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