Monday, May 13, 2013

Adam Dunn is not in a slump

Based upon the title of this blog, you probably think I've completely lost my mind. White Sox 1B/DH Adam Dunn is batting .137 entering play on May 13. How can I possibly claim he's not in a slump?

Well, just for fun, let's break down Dunn's numbers -- month by month -- since he joined the Sox. For purposes of this exercise, we'll evaluate Dunn's play by using one old-guard statistical measure (batting average) and one new-wave statistical measure (OPS):

April: .160 avg., .567 OPS
May: .204 avg., .743 OPS
June: .136 avg., .498 OPS
July: .145 avg., .546 OPS
August: .155 avg., .441 OPS
Sept./Oct.: .128 avg., .508 OPS

April: .231 avg., .881 OPS
May: .230 avg., .976 OPS
June: .181 avg., .770 OPS
July: .211 avg., 788 OPS
August: .176 avg., .691 OPS
Sept./Oct: .200 avg., .676 OPS

April: .148 avg., .617 OPS
May: .103 avg., .316 OPS

In 13 1/2 months as a member of the Sox, Dunn has a .179 batting average with a .683 OPS. You have to give him one thing -- he's been consistent from month to month in compiling these sorry statistics.

You'll note the bolded figures in April and May of 2012. Dunn's career OPS is .863. Those two months are the only two during his time in a White Sox uniform where he has met or exceeded his career OPS.

Dunn's career batting average is .238. He has yet have a single month where he has equaled or exceeded that figure as a member of the Sox. Forget about hitting career norms over the course of the season. He hasn't done it for even one month.

Where am I going with this? Well, I'm saying that anyone who is hoping for Dunn to bat .238 with a .863 OPS probably has a long wait. He's not that player anymore, and the last 13 1/2 months worth of data shows it. When a player has played below career norms for 13 1/2 consecutive months, that's not a slump. That's evidence that a player is simply washed up.

You could argue Dunn is slumping because his May 2013 numbers are poor even by the low standard he has set with the Sox. But for the most part, the lousy hitter he is today is more than likely what you are going to see until his contract finally expires at the end of the 2014 season.

For the Sox and their fans, you've got 289 more games to watch the awful mess that is Adam Dunn.


  1. The Sox don't have to give up on Dunn, but they need to get serious about at least trying to limit his exposure to left-handed pitching. They're paying him to be more than a platoon 1B/DH, but there's no reason to let the perfect be the enemy of the good -- or at least acceptable -- if they can avoid a sinkhole in an already-struggling lineup.

    1. If they are going to play Dunn, they need to drop him to seventh or eighth in the lineup, at least in the short run. That means fewer ABs and fewer chances to kill the offense.

      Of course, none of the guys hitting at the bottom deserve to be moved up in the lineup at all, so Ventura is between a rock and a hard place. Whatever lineup he makes out isn't going to look very good.

  2. I want to know when enough is enough? What will be the straw that breaks the camel's back? I can't understand why he is in the middle of the lineup. Are the Sox trying to trot him out there hoping he will perform enough to trade him? His play and contract are toxic.

  3. I really wanted to trade Dunn this past offseason. I thought maybe someone would look at the 41 HRs he hit last season and want to take a chance on him. I would have traded him for nothing more than salary relief. But, I'm willing to concede that perhaps that trade just wasn't there to be made. It takes two clubs to make it deal, and without question, Dunn's contract is one that only a few teams would be able to take on. He's an unmovable object now after this horrible first six or seven weeks.

    I'm sure enough will never be enough. My guess is Dunn will be hitting in the middle of the Sox lineup for the rest of his contract, come hell or high water. There's no rational reason to think he will ever perform to his career norms again. The Sox will continue to play him to try to justify the money. IMO, the hot streak isn't coming. The guy is just done.

  4. The problem is the Sox are ill-positioned to weather the struggles of a guy who is supposed to be one of their main hitters.

    They're already committed to Viciedo getting time to see if he can take a step forward. Ok, that makes sense.

    They're committed to Flowers behind the plate, and that's fine because the offensive bar is low for a catcher and he's good defensively.

    Except they also committed to Ramirez and Beckham because they both have good gloves.

    In a vacuum, each of those decisions is fine. But all together, you're already anticipating less-than-average performance from more than a third of your lineup. Plus Keppinger, the guy who was supposed to insulate you from a disastrous performance at second or third base, has been a disaster while Beckham's been out. It could have been more devastating if Conor Gillaspie hadn't turned in a decent month.

    The Sox had to anticipate the lineup being bad before you consider the struggles of Dunn, plus Konerko, plus a slow start from DeAza. The only guy who has hit has been Alex Rios, and he's cooled off.

    At the very least, the Sox could be helping themselves by sitting Dunn against lefties, against whom he's batted .135 since joining the Sox. Now that Viciedo back and they've claimed a lefty-killer in Casper Wells, they can slide Viciedo to DH and Wells to left field. That would lift the offense and defense.

    Of course, that's not going to fix much. That would require Dunn recovering, Konerko recovering, Viciedo breaking out and maybe Beckham hitting a little when he gets back.

    The Sox just don't have a lot of good options, though.

  5. He's almost making Soriano look like a bargain this year at 18 mil!

  6. It really is amazing that out of 13 position players, they only have one (Rios) who has performed to expectations. Everyone else has been below par or injured, and three players (Dunn, Keppinger, Flowers) have been complete disasters.

    And it isn't just offensive struggles. As a group, they've been a train wreck defensively. Last year, they allowed the fewest unearned runs in the American League. This year, with many of the same players, they lead the league in errors and passed balls. I would guess the Sox have beaten themselves more than any team in the league.

    Hell, each of their last three losses are the direct result of poor defense.

    I don't even have a suggestion for Robin Ventura right now. The sad thing is they've received playoff-caliber pitching. Their team ERA is 3.51, half a point better than the league average. But the pitching has been wasted by position players who are of Triple-A quality. You can't really bench anybody when there aren't any other options than the guys you're already trotting out there.

  7. In a semi-related note... while watching the Reds the other night I was trying to figure out who the fat lumberjack was behind home plate. None other than the immortal Corky Miller. I didn't know he was even still in the league.

    1. Must have seniority in the backup catchers union.

  8. The other day on White Sox Interactive, somebody challenged me to name a player in MLB who is worse than Dewayne Wise.

    My response? Corky Miller.

    Dude is lucky he's still in ****ing baseball.

    1. There are lots of guys who are worse than Wise. Keppinger, Dunn and Konerko have all been worse this season.

      Even if you don't think they'll all be this bad, I'd dare say Jeff Francoeur is worse. So is our old pal Chris Getz.

      In the non-Royals division, Robert Andino, Daric Barton and Matt Dominguez have good cases.

    2. Yeah, I pointed out Wise isn't even the worst player on the Sox. I nominate Tyler Greene for that distinction. I'm pretty sure he'll be designated for assignment whenever one of Beckham or Sanchez returns.

      Somebody on WSI had their undies in a bunch because Jordan Danks was optioned to AAA, while Wise retained his roster spot. I thought that was a no-brainer. They are essentially the same player -- backup left-handed hitting outfielders. Call them spare parts or organizational players, whatever you want. They are pretty redundant on the roster, although Wise has more experience. Danks had options left, while Wise did not, so it made sense for Wise to stay. No reason to further erode what little depth this organization has by letting Wise go.

      I did see that Barton is back with Oakland. That guy is truly terrible. I saw him strikeout with the bases loaded and one out in the bottom of the 10th last night against Joe Nathan. IIRC, he wasn't even on Oakland's 40-man when the season started. Now, he's back from the dead.

    3. Yep. I don't see how Wise is worse than Danks right now. Maybe if Wise slipped with the glove, like guys in their 30s can do suddenly. Otherwise interchangeable.

      Of course, some of that sentiment might be from the small, small group of fans that think JorDanks is still a "prospect."

    4. Yeah, that group is still out there. They think the Sox should dump Rios for prospects and give JorDanks a shot in RF. They should be careful what they wish for. Danks has spent the better part of the last four years in AAA. He doesn't have any tools that stand out. He's just an organizational guy.