It's not just Adam Dunn's first season with the White Sox -- it's also his first season with high expectations. And in either case, he's really taking it on the chin.
Chuck Garfien has a quality interview with Dunn regarding his terrible start, and it includes some concerning quotes by the usually laid-back slugger.
In fact, this one might be one of the scariest self-assessments that I've ever heard:
"This has been a season of pure embarrassment," Dunn said in a phone interview before Tuesday’s game against the Rangers. "It’s been nothing other than embarrassing. I think that’s the biggest fear for me is that I’ll embarrass myself each and every day. And that’s one thing that not anyone can do or say to me. It’s just been a very bad start to the season."
Yikes. Dunn goes on to talk about his problems both against left-handed pitching, as well as his problems hitting at home. Along with Carlos Quentin, Dunn is finding the hitter-friendly U.S. Cellular Field quite unhospitable.
- Home: .115/.247/.230, 11 BB, 28 K in 73 PA
- Road: .244/.373/.444, 17 BB, 32 K in 110 PA
If it's any comfort, at least Dunn doesn't have the weirdest splits on the team. Carlos Quentin's home/road divide is even harder to explain, at least with regards to one stat:
- Home: Three RBI
- Road: 28 RBI
I don't get how this is even possible, especially since Quentin is hitting .194 with two homers. That's two RBI right there. He's had five doubles, too. Cripes, Dunn is hitting .115, and yet he has nine RBI at The Cell. Consider my mind boggled.
At least Dunn has some company underneath Ozzie Guillen's heat lamp.
"I don’t want to put heat on any player, but if Rios and Dunn don’t produce or don’t hit the way we think they can hit, it’s going to be tough for us to compete,’’ manager Ozzie Guillen said Wednesday. "It’s going to be hard for the rest of the players.’’
Call me crazy, but I think he wanted to put heat on two players. I don't think this is unwarranted, but I know there is one guy in particular that people would rather single out.
Here he is!
There's actually a legit reason why Pierre is outside of Guillen's crosshairs -- he has a 10-game hitting streak and is reaching base like a leadoff man should. Unfortunately, he's gunshy on the basepaths, and as Larry pointed out, that basically neuters him.
There's no legit reason to suggest trading Carlos Quentin to make room for Dayan Viciedo when Pierre roams the Earth, as Scot Gregor did. J.J. correctly addresses the logical shortcomings.
Speaking of Quentin, Doug Padilla drops some wonky hitting coach goodness on us:
The first two months of this season, though, have shown that while he hasn't been able to completely eliminate his up-and-down tendencies, he has been able to shorten the slides.
"Obviously [Tuesday] night he was awesome and he's had days like that this year where he's been unbelievable," hitting coach Greg Walker said. "To me, the only issue so far this year is Carlos being late with the foot down, and we kind of corrected that a week, 10 days ago. Other than having a sore knee one day, he's really been good ever since."
Essentially, Walker has worked with Quentin to refine the timing of his swing. If Quentin can stride and get his foot down before the ball arrives, he is in a better position to cover the strike zone. His most impressive home run Tuesday came when he reached out across the plate and slugged a 400-foot-plus shot just inside the foul pole in right field.
Brett Ballantini works through the possible permutations if and when the six-man rotation becomes five. Oddly enough, he doesn't suggest that the White Sox need a No. 1 starter.
The draft is coming up, and the White Sox don't have a pick until No. 47, which is why not many people are paying attention. Nevertheless, Mark Gonzales tries to get answers from Doug Laumann.
If you missed U-God's Fanshot, here you go. Also includes information from e-gus on a Thomas book-signing event in Naperville.