GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Chicago White Sox slugger Adam Dunn said one of his biggest takeaways from his early playing career was how older players treated him as he rose through the ranks.
Paul Konerko may be the designated mentor in his final season with the Sox, but Dunn, 34, said he also will try to provide some guidance to a group of young newcomers as he kicks off his fourth season in the clubhouse. He pointed specifically to 27-year-old Cuban Jose Abreu, who is to take over at first base, where Konerko and Dunn split time last season while also playing designated hitter.
"Especially Abreu, not speaking English, I can imagine how difficult that is, coming over to a new team and all those expectations," Dunn said. "As comfortable as I can make him and Paul can make him - make sure he realizes he fits in and doesn't try to do too much - you'll see the best out of him."
The influx of new players at spring training at least should bring a rejuvenated attitude to a team that endured so much frustration in 2013. Dunn, who played his own very visible part in the team's struggles, said he is looking forward to having some fun again.
"When things start out bad - so many guys not doing their job - human nature is try harder, try harder," Dunn said. "When you try harder things sputter and you get that result. It's a lot easier when you're out there having fun, relaxed, not looking up at the scoreboard every two seconds to see what your batting average is. We're not building rockets for NASA. It's baseball."
Dunn - who has changed his jersey number to 44 after letting Jake Peavy "borrow" it - said the Sox's 2013 troubles might benefit some players this season.
"It's going to be really hard to do what we did last year," Dunn said. "That should take a lot of pressure off people because as bad as we played last year, it's really hard to duplicate."
Jones update: Reliever Nate Jones, who is recovering from a gluteal strain, said Friday that he doesn't feel any discomfort when throwing, which he did from 90 feet a day earlier.
Jones, who is a candidate to be the Sox's closer, said he doesn't think he will be far behind the other pitchers when he progresses to live batting practice.
"Once I get back in the groove of things, get off the mound a little bit, I think it'll all come back pretty quick," Jones said.
Extra innings: Sox right fielder Avisail Garcia left early Friday because of an ingrown toenail and likely will sit out Saturday. ... Sox manager Robin Ventura said the team will limit third baseman Jeff Keppinger because his arm strength is behind following minor shoulder surgery in the fall.