Dunn amped for pennant race

Dunn amped for pennant race

DENVER -- Adam Dunn sat in a folding chair talking with Tony Clark in the D-backs clubhouse on Tuesday afternoon.

It was just one step in the process the veteran will be going through as he tries to get to know his new teammates.

"It's not something you do overnight," said Dunn, who was acquired from the Reds on Monday in exchange for Minor League pitcher Dallas Buck and two players to be named. "I've known a few of them, playing against them. I just wanted to come in and meet the guys and not make ripples in the water. Come in under the radar and try to fit in."

When you stand 6-foot-6, weigh 240 pounds and are tied for the Major League lead in homers with 32, it's a little hard to blend into the background.

As he promised the day before, Arizona manager Bob Melvin put Dunn in the lineup in right field, batting fourth. That's where the 28-year-old figures to play at least until Justin Upton returns from an injury rehab assignment.

"It takes pressure off guys," Melvin said of Dunn's addition. "They don't feel like they have to be the guy and try to do something they're not capable of doing."

The D-backs believe that Dunn is capable of improving their offense enough to get them into the playoffs for the second straight year. That would be a first for Dunn, who was never in a pennant race during seven-plus seasons in Cincinnati.

"We were in it a couple of years ago with the Wild Card but we faded out," he said. "It's what you play for. This is why you play the game. After the Trade Deadline I didn't think I was going to get this opportunity. It's something that doesn't happen for everybody so I'm going to enjoy it."

Dunn said he took grounders at first just about every day while with the Reds and is willing to play there if Melvin decides to shift things around when Upton returns.

"It's on the way to left field in Cincinnati," Dunn said jokingly about first base. "So I'd take some grounders and then head to left."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.