Tag:Adam Dunn
Posted on: July 4, 2011 11:49 pm
Edited on: July 5, 2011 12:03 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Dunn comes through



By Matt Snyder

Adam Dunn, White Sox. Maybe the 4th of July will go down as the day Dunn got things together in 2011. He's still only hitting .171 and did strike out once, but Dunn was 2-4 with two RBI Monday. He connected on a two-run homer to tie the game in the eighth inning and then was at the plate in the bottom of the ninth when the White Sox won via walk-off balk (more on that below). If Dunn can regain some confidence from this game, it would do wonders for getting his season out of the gutter.

Alex Presley, Pirates. The rookie outfielder has been piling up hits for the Pirates since his promotion. Monday, Presley was 3-4 with a triple, RBI and a walk. He's now hitting .364 and more than filling the shoes of injured leadoff hitter Jose Tabata for the Pirates, who are now only 1-1/2 games out of first place in the NL Central.

Rangers offense. Sparked by three hits from both David Murphy and Michael Young -- who was a home run short of the cycle -- the Rangers pounded the Orioles' pitching staff for 13 runs and 18 hits. They had seven doubles, a triple and two homers. Every starter except Elvis Andrus collected a hit and seven players had multi-hit games. The production enabled the Rangers to win and hold on to a first place tie with the Angels.



Aaron Crow, Royals. Just a day after finding out he made the All-Star team, Crow had an awful rough outing. The Royals' setup man lost the lead in the eighth on the aforementioned Dunn home run and then lost the game in the ninth when he balked home A.J. Pierzynski. Pierzynski got on base with a single, was sacrificed to second and advanced to third on a wild pitch from Crow. This loss falls squarely on Crow's shoulders.

Carlos Marmol, Cubs. Marmol entered the game in the bottom of the 10th with a tie game and Jayson Werth on second base. Marmol was summoned because Marcos Mateo was injured and had to leave the game. Marmol needed only five pitches to lose the game. First, he paid zero attention to Werth at second, which allowed Werth to steal third base so easily that Cubs' catcher Geovany Soto didn't even bother to throw to third. Then, on Marmol's fifth pitch, he uncorked his first wild pitch of the season, which allowed Werth to score. Yep, a walk-off wild pitch and walk-off balk in the same day.

John Lackey, Red Sox. Lackey was very solid last time out, but failed to build upon it one iota Monday. He lasted only 2 1/3 innings, giving up nine hits and seven earned runs. His ERA is now back up to 7.47. The good news, Red Sox fans, is that he's only signed through 2014.

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Posted on: June 28, 2011 8:54 pm
 

GM Williams would sign Dunn again

By Evan Brunell

DunnOn Sunday, both skipper Ozzie Guillen and GM Ken Williams met with slumping DH Adam Dunn to encourage him of their confidence. Now, Williams has come out with a strong endorsement, the Chicago Tribune reports.

"If you look at his timeline since he's been in the big leagues, it's a pretty damn good body of work," Williams said, pointing to Dunn's 361 home runs in 11 seasons and overall .247/.377/.512 line. "What he's going through now, when it is said and done, will be a little blip on that line."

Dunn's .173/.308/.316 line on the year is positively anemic, with his plate discipline the only thing saving him from statistically being one of the worst hitters in the game. (As it is, according to one metric, Dunn is 18th worst. Hey, Dunn needs every silver lining at this point.) Fellow Eye on Baseball scribe Matt Snyder detailed Dunn's struggles at the plate, noting that the left-hander simply looks "mentally whipped."

"I told him I do not regret the decision [to give Dunn a $56 million contract] in any way, shape or form," Williams added. "I believe we needed him, I believed it when we got him and I still believe he will play the major part we thought he was going to. It just hasn't turned out to this point.

"His problem is he cares so much and he wants to make an impression on the people of Chicago. As soon as he gets back to being Adam Dunn and puts it out of his mind, he's going to be the player we all thought he was. Ability doesn't just go overnight. I would make the same move tomorrow again."

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Category: MLB
Posted on: June 26, 2011 7:27 pm
 

Nightmare continues for Dunn, club supports him



By Matt Snyder


Friday night, Adam Dunn singled, doubled and was robbed of a home run by Roger Bernadina of the visiting Nationals. It was the type of game that could help a struggling player regain some confidence and possibly climb out of a funk. Since then, however, Dunn is 0-7 with seven strikeouts. Sunday, he left four guys on base in a 2-1 White Sox loss. The boos at U.S. Cellular Field are getting louder and louder. Dunn has not only lost all his confidence, but he looks lost at the plate and his bat speed seems to have severely dwindled for someone only 31 years old.

It's not early anymore, as the White Sox have 78 games in the books, so it's time to start questioning if 2011 is going to be a lost season for Dunn. He's long been stigmatized for a low batting average, poor defense and a high strikeout total, but that was more than canceled out for years due to his power, on-base ability, durability and consistency. From 2004-2010, Dunn's average season was a .381 on-base percentage with 40 home runs, 101 RBI, 30 doubles and 94 runs. That's a career year for the overwhelming majority of major leaguers. For Dunn, it was what he did for seven straight seasons.

Because of this, the White Sox awarded Dunn a four-year, $56 million contract this past offseason. The past performance and the contract are also why they're still standing behind him. Before Sunday's game, manager Ozzie Guillen and general manager Kenny Williams met with Dunn and assured him they are squarely behind him (Scott Merkin via Twitter).

"I wish I could be in his brain to see what he's thinking. I know it's not a good thing, but believe me, if there's one person who feels bad about this situation, it's him," Guillen said after the game (Merkin Twitter).

And the mentality is precisely the problem. Everything has fallen apart for the (former?) slugger. After Sunday's debacle -- where he struck out all four times he took the batter's box -- Dunn has struck out exactly 100 times. He's done it in 231 at-bats. He's always struck out a good amount, but his rate has skyrocketed, while none of the things he used to bring to the table are present. He only has 40 hits. He's only on pace for 15 home runs and 60 RBI. The on-base percentage is down below .310 and his batting average has fallen down to .173.

If you watch enough White Sox games with any number of broadcast teams, you'll invariably hear something like: "he's going to hit. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when." I'm not sure I buy that, though, at least not for this season. I did a month ago, but not now. Saying things like "regression to the mean" sometimes leaves out the human element. Dunn is mentally whipped. That can't be broken by simply viewing a stat readout. With this kind of extended slump, there's no telling how long it takes before he can break out of it. It could be next week, sure. It could also be next season. Or never. Don't discount mentality playing a huge factor in hitting a baseball. It's hard enough to do when a player is confident. It's much, much worse when he's desperate to get things going in front of a new set of fans who are giving verbal lashings every chance they get.

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Category: MLB
Posted on: June 23, 2011 10:18 am
Edited on: June 23, 2011 12:31 pm
 

Pepper: No pinstripes for Reyes?

By C. Trent Rosecrans

BASEBALL TODAY: CBSSports.com senior writer Scott Miller joins Lauren Shihadi to talk about a pair of struggling aces, the Cardinals' Chris Carpenter and the Giants' Tim Lincecum.

REYES WON'T BE A YANKEE: Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the team would not acquire Mets shortstop Jose Reyes, either in a trade or as a free agent.

"That's just not going to happen," Cashman told Roger Rubin of the New York Daily News.

"We have an everyday shortstop in Derek Jeter," he added. "And I think we have an everyday shortstop that would be playing for a lot of clubs in Eduardo Nunez. The Yankees don't have a need now or in the future for a shortstop.

"But we do need a setup man."

Like Rafael Soriano, another player Cashman said the team didn't have any interest in signing?

SPEAKING OF: I understand baseball memorabilia, I really do. I mean, I own a game-worn Dick Pole jersey. But a dirt keychain? After Jeter's 3,000th hit, five gallons of dirt will be dug up from the batter's box and shortstop patch and sold off in various forms. The "DJ 3K" merchandise line will include not just dirt (which will be infused into key chains, plastic disks paired with photos and in bats among other items), but also the usual T-shirts, hats, jerseys, bobbleheads, patches, balls and even necklaces. [New York Times]

TEAM PLAYER: Mark Ellis understands Jemile Weeks is a talent who will help the A's, and that's why he's volunteered to step away from his second base spot.

"He made it very easy on me," A's manager Bob Melvin told reporters, including Jane Lee of MLB.com. "You would, to an extent, expect that, but to the extent and the level he went, for me, was off the charts. The first thing I said to him was, 'OK, the second-base situation,' and he said, 'That's an easy one, you gotta play him.'"

Ellis is known as one of the good guys of the game, and this is another piece of evidence in that case. Ellis will play first and third for the A's, but the team's longest-tenured player won't be penciled in every day as he has been.

The 34-year-old Ellis is hitting just .210/.244/.286 in 60 games. Weeks has made the most of his opportunity when Ellis went not he DL, hitting .321/.357/.509 in the first 14 games of his big-league career.

Ellis has pride, but he understands that Weeks is a talent. In the end, that's the biggest thing -- players recognize talent. If his replacement was just someone hot, Ellis would unlikely step aside so easily, but Weeks is someone who can help the team in the long term. Ellis knows it. It can't be easy to put the ego aside like that, but he did. Hats off to Ellis.

As a side note, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle cites an "industry insider" as saying there's a "very good chance" Ellis will be traded across the San Francisco Bay to the Giants. Ellis is a free agent after the season, and with Weeks on board, it's unlikely he'll be back in Oakland next season.

PHANATIC HURT: Tom Burgoyne, the man inside the green Phillie Phanatic costume, was released from a Pennsylvania hospital Wednesday night after being hit in the head by a batted ball during a minor-league appearance at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. [Allentown Morning Call]

WELCOME BACK: The surging Twins will add DH Jim Thome and former closer Joe Nathan on Friday. Thome had five at-bats Wednesday in a simulated game at the team's complex in Fort Myers, Fla. Nathan struck out three Wednesday and allowed an unearned run, a walk and a hit in one inning for Triple-A Rochester. [Minneapolis Star Tribune]

EL TIANTE JR.: Reds right-hander Johnny Cueto added a little tweak to his delivery for Wednesday's start against the Yankees, turning his back to the hitter more than he has in the past. It worked, as he held the Yankees to two hits and one run in seven innings.

"I've been doing it, but I did it a little more tonight," Cueto told reporters, including the Cincinnati Enquirer's Tom Groeschen. "I'm trying to make it tough to see the baseball, so I'm hiding it real good now."

How good? Cueto improved to 5-2 and lowered his ERA to 1.63 this season. Batters are hitting just .193/.261/.297 against Cueto this season.

PEAVY, PIERZYNSKI OK: White Sox starter Jake Peavy and catcher A.J. Pierzynski had a heated argument that was caught on live TV in the dugout, and the two headed into the tunnel to escape the cameras. Afterward, both joked about the incident and said they were OK. [MLB.com]

ROX SEEK ARMS: Colorado Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd said the team -- 3 1/2 games out of first in the NL West -- will look for pitching to help fill the void left by the loss of Jorge De La Rosa. Good luck finding someone like that. [MLB.com]

END OF THE LINE?: Veteran right-hander John Maine left the Rockies' Triple-A team after a bad start Monday and will use the time to decide whether he will retire or continue his comeback from shoulder surgery last season. The 30-year-old is 1-3 with a 7.43 ERA in 11 starts this season. [InsidetheRockies.com]

GLOVE STORY: Last week Yankees starter Brian Gordon became the first Major League player to use a non-leather glove in a game. Gordon uses a synthetic glove handmade by a guy in Cooperstown, N.Y. [MLB.com]

THREE TRUE OUTCOMES: You hear that phrase pretty often, especially talking about Adam Dunn, as a player who seems to either hit a home run, strike out or walk in every plate appearance. Thanks to the beauty of computers, the Baseball-Reference.com blog has the 25 players (ranked by plate appearances) whose total homers plus walks plus strikeouts were at least 60 percent of their career plate appearances. Dunn is on the list, as are Thome, Carlos Pena, Ryan Howard and Rob Deer.

MLB EXPANSION?: No, not of teams -- of rosters. Jerry Crasnick of ESPN looks at both sides of the proposition. While Crasnick writes mostly about an extra position player, I can't imagine Tony La Russa not wanting another reliever in his bullpen just so he could make another pitching change in the sixth inning.

YANKEE STRIPPER, PART 2: The other man in a vintage photo of Joe DiMaggio has been identified, so we can put that to rest. Rugger Ardizoia said the picture was taken in spring training of 1941 when he was a minor leaguer with the Yankees and his fellow San Francisco native, DiMaggio, "took care" of him. [San Francisco Chronicle]

EXPOS BOOK: Jonah Keri, the author of the excellent book about the Tampa Bay Rays, The Extra 2%, will next tackle The Definitive History of the Montreal Expos. The book won't drop until 2014 -- the 10-year anniversary of the Expos' move -- but that doesn't mean it can't go on my Amazon wish list now. Or, well, as soon as Amazon has it listed. [JonahKeri.com]

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Posted on: June 22, 2011 5:44 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2011 6:12 pm
 

Soriano says comments were 'misinterpreted'

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Alfonso SorianoToday's "misinterpreted" comments are from Alfonso Soriano.

Soriano was upset Wednesday when he said he was "misunderstood" in his comments about Cubs fans -- that they were the "worst" -- found here.

"The fans here are good. at the same time, when you're doing bad, they boo," Soriano told Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. "But if you're doing good, they clap for you. It's nothing like I said they are bad fans. Here, everywhere -- Cincinnati, St. Louis -- any ballpark you go to and you're doing [bad], what are they going to do? They're going to boo you. If you're doing good, they're happy. So it's not like they're the worst fans in the world."

Soriano said he was just talking about Adam Dunn and how he felt sorry for him. He also said he doesn't mind when he's booed.

"I don't know why [the Chicago Sun-Times' Gordon Wittenmyer] tried to make it like I don't like the fans in Chicago," Soriano said. "Because I enjoy playing in Chicago and I enjoy playing for the fans in Chicago."

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Posted on: June 22, 2011 12:09 pm
Edited on: June 22, 2011 12:18 pm
 

Soriano: Chicago fans 'the worst'

Alfonso SorianoBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Alfonso Soriano says fans in Chicago are tougher on their players than New York fans.

When talking to Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times about struggling White Sox slugger Adam Dunn, Soriano said fans in Chicago booing the home team is nothing new.

"It's the worst," Soriano said. "I played in New York, but the fans are worse here. But at the same time, I understand. Fans can get frustrated because they want the team to win, and they want the players to hit. At the same time, the game's not easy."

Well, I'm sure Cubs fans would say if anything, Soriano reminds them that the game's not easy, but the money may be. Soriano will make $54 million over the next three years and has underperformed in his time in Chicago. He's hitting .269/.295/.522 with 14 homers so far this season, an improvement over 2010.

Both Dunn and Soriano were signed by Chicago teams after spending time in Washington, but Soriano was also a Yankee for five years, as well as playing for the Rangers. Soriano, obviously, has never played for the Phillies.

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Posted on: June 16, 2011 10:31 am
Edited on: June 16, 2011 12:53 pm
 

Pepper: Giants happy Marlins are losing?



By Matt Snyder

BASEBALL TODAY: Can the Pirates finally have a winning season? I discuss this and the AL Central race, AL West race and the spiraling Cardinals with Scott Braun in Thursday's version of Baseball Today. Click on the video above to watch.

TURN THE PAGE, GUYS: On May 26, Scott Cousins bowled over Buster Posey of the Giants and knocked him out for the season. The Marlins completed a sweep of the Giants that night. Since then, the Marlins are 3-17, and Cousins is on the DL with a back injury. Via Extra Baggs, apparently this "hasn't gone unnoticed" for the Giants and they feel like -- off the record, of course -- "karma's a bitch." C'mon guys. You won a World Series last year and now your catcher suffered a freak injury that could have happened to anyone. This kind of petty nonsense has a place in junior high, but not the bigs -- and certainly not from a division leader with a World Series ring. Seriously, I don't think I've ever seen a season-ending injury cause so much upheaval -- locally or nationally. It's a shame it happened, but good Lord, he's still alive.

TELL US HOW YOU REALLY FEEL: "The interleague thing is just awful," said Adam Dunn (Chicago Tribune). The White Sox DH, who is finally starting to awake from an extended early-season slumber, is speaking specifically about how the DH affects interleague play. People like David Ortiz will have to sit as they visit NL parks while utility players from NL teams end up DHing in AL parks. Of course, even if interleague play is eliminated, the World Series would still have this issue. And that's kind of an important series, no?

ALONG THOSE LINES: With Eric Hosmer now firmly entrenched at first base, the Royals have no place to put Billy Butler this weekend in St. Louis. Thus, one of their best hitters will be relegated to pinch-hitting duty. (KansasCity.com)

WHITHER COLON INVESTIGATION: Earlier in the season, news broke that Bartolo Colon had received a stem-cell procedure in the Dominican Republic that helped repair his shoulder and elbow. Immediately, Major League Baseball wanted to be sure no banned substances were used in the procedure and began an investigation. Since then, absolutely nothing has happened, and there's no sign of things progressing any time soon. (NYTimes.com blog)

QUIET, PLEASE. MAD SCIENTIST AT WORK: Albert Pujols hadn't started a game at third base since 2002 until this season. Wednesday night marked his third start this season at the hot corner -- as injuries and other circumstances have led manager Tony La Russa to move Pujols across the diamond. The two errors he committed were far from the only reason the Cardinals lost to the Nationals 10-0, but still were worth mentioning. Don't think they deterred La Russa from doing it again, though. "If we had the seventh game of the World Series and it was the same set of circumstances, I'd play him at third base hoping they'd hit 27 balls to him. That's how good a third baseman he is," La Russa said (StLtoday.com). Yeah, keep telling yourself that, Tony.

DAMON'S STOCK RISING: Johnny Damon is nearing his 500th double. When that happens, he'll join 10 other players as the only ones in MLB history to stockpile 2,500 hits, 500 doubles, 100 triples and 200 home runs (page/TB">Rays%29" target="_blank">TBO.com). That might sound like cherry-picking numbers -- because, well, it kind of is -- but the players he joins prove it means something: George Brett, Goose Goslin, Rogers Hornsby, Willie Mays, Paul Molitor, Stan Musial, Babe Ruth, Al Simmons and Robin Yount. All 10 are in the Hall of Fame.

SETTLING IN: Alex Gordon was probably one of the last guys you'd envision to be a leadoff hitter entering the season, but since making the switch about a month ago, he's morphed into a nice leadoff man. He's raised his on-base percentage by taking a lot more pitches, a deliberate approach. “I definitely haven’t been perfect at it, but my main goal is just to try to get on and give these guys a chance to drive me in.” (KansasCity.com)

HOCKEY AT PROGRESSIVE: The Ohio State-Michigan rivalry will be on full display at Progressive Field in 2012, according to the AP. The two collegiate hockey teams will reportedly square off where the Cleveland Indians play, marking the first major outdoor hockey game in Ohio.

INGE ON TRACK: Tigers third baseman Brandon Inge has been sidelined for the past two weeks with mono, but he's set to start a rehab assignment Thursday night with Triple-A Toledo (Detroit Free Press). While he's been out, the Tigers have continued their surge all the way to the top of the AL Central.

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Posted on: June 10, 2011 1:14 am
Edited on: June 10, 2011 1:19 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Dunn goes deep



By Matt Snyder


Adam Dunn, White Sox. He's still on pace to have the worst season of his career by a huge margin, but Dunn's gotta be pretty happy with his performance Thursday night. After two games off, he returned to the lineup and slugged his sixth home run of the season -- his first since May 24.

Alex Avila, Tigers. Avila tripled twice in the Tigers' victory. He's a catcher, as we know, so a two-triple game has to be a rarity, right? According to Baseball-Reference.com, this was the 75th time a catcher has hit two triples since 1919. It was the 18th time in the past 40 years. The 24 year old, who was really only made the starter due to his defense, is now hitting .297 with nine homers, 33 RBI, 13 doubles and three triples. He's got a real shot to play in the All-Star Game.

Johnny Cueto, Reds. Cueto stifled the Giants Thursday night in his best start of the season. He worked seven shutout innings, allowing only four hits and two walks while striking out eight and picking up the win. It was the first scoreless appearance by a Reds starter since Homer Bailey's May 10 outing. The start also marked the sixth quality start in seven tries for Cueto, who lowered his ERA to 1.93 and could really be emerging as the ace of the Reds' deep staff. The win kept the Reds five games out in the NL Central.




Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers. If the Dodgers score seven runs for their young ace -- especially against the recently-punchless Rockies -- it should be an easy victory. Instead, Kershaw just didn't have it Thursday night in the thin air of Coors Field. He gave up seven hits, three walks and six earned runs in six innings.

Trevor Cahill, A's. The manager change didn't help in Game 1 of the Bob Melvin era for Oakland. The A's were worked over by the White Sox, 9-4, and ace Trevor Cahill was beaten down in less than three innings of work. Cahill was only able to get through 2 2/3 innings, allowing eight hits, three walks and six earned runs. He's now 0-4 with a 5.35 ERA in his last six starts -- and the A's are 0-6 in those starts. You're supposed to feel confident in a win with your ace on the hill. That's not happening. Hey, at least Cahill's healthy, though, unlike about half the Oakland pitchers who have been on the 40-man roster this year.

Ryan Madson/Placido Polanco, Phillies. There will be no repeat of Brad Lidge's 2008 season in Philly (when he saved 41 games without blowing a single chance). Ryan Madson entered the game Thursday night against the Cubs having converted all 14 of his save opportunities, but a Geovany Soto home run tied it. Madson almost took the loss, as Tyler Colvin followed with what was initially ruled a home run. The umpires ruled fan interference and a ground-rule double after video review, and Madson got out of the inning with a tie game. Then, in the top of the 11th, Placido Polanco committed a throwing error with two outs that allowed the Cubs to plate the go-ahead run. The Phillies then went down in the bottom half of the inning and lost a game they should have won.

BONUS UP AND DOWN: Joakim Soria returned to his customary role as the Royals closer and picked up the save. So that's good. It's just that he didn't look in control at all. He allowed back-to-back singles with one out and then walked the bases loaded with two outs before getting Corey Patterson to pop up and end the game. Soria faced six hitters and threw at least two balls to four of them. Both singles were hit pretty hard, too. But, again, he did lock down the save and didn't allow a run.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com