The month of May is only six games old, but if the splits are any indication, the White Sox should be slightly easier to watch. The massive slumps of April appear to be in the rear view mirror of four key White Sox:
- Juan Pierre: .412/.600/.471
- Alex Rios: .375/.375/.667
- Gordon Beckham: .467/.529/.600
- Adam Dunn: .188/.364/.438
Dunn has the odd-looking line in this group. Unlike the other three, it's not right to say he's "back." He's not even technically "here." The best thing you can say right now is that he is no longer actively hurting the team, so he's providing a massive net gain from month-to-month.
Them's some hilariously low standards, but this has been a low season. It's appropriate if nothing else.
Still, it seems like Dunn is on the verge of explosion. He's getting around on inside-corner fastballs, he's hitting some towering flies and some at-'em liners, he's only struck out three times in 21 plate appearances, and he's avoiding outs at a well-above-average rate.
We can say now that he's at least producing like one of the Dunns the Sox signed up for. This version is still thoroughly mediocre by his standards, but even when the hits aren't falling (including the ones over the fence), he still has an OPS over .800. In 2010, White Sox designated hitters posted a .782 OPS ... in their best month.
Of course, comparing any DH to Mandruw Kojones is damning with faint praise by default, but he's starting to paint the picture of what the Sox are paying him for. He adds much-needed ballast to the lineup, even when he's only firing at 70 percent. He's the car that always runs, even if it sometimes feels like the bolts are going to fly off at highway speeds.
The problem for Dunn is erasing the four weeks prior, when even Victory Auto Wreckers wouldn't offer cash on the spot. At this point, Dunn's fate and his team's fate mirror each other. Both were built to avoid rock bottom, and yet both still found it. Big Donkey is now in a position where he needs to add 25 feet to his flyballs, in short order, just to salvage his season. Likewise, the Sox can't afford to spend much in neutral, even if they just achieved the monumental feat of holding a charge.