By S.C. Zuba
You have to believe Adam Dunn will turn it around.
Clearly, Dunn hasn’t started off his career with the White Sox as they planned—or as we hoped. When the left-handed slugger signed his four-year, $56 million contact, expectations were high, to say the least.
How could they not be? Dunn is a seasoned veteran—one who has proven he can rip the cover off a baseball.
His start to the 2011 season, however, is anything but impressive. Through 57 games this season, Dunn is batting just .179 with only 6 home runs and 26 RBIs. Oh, he also owns 83 strikeouts in 241 plate appearances.
Let’s be honest, those numbers are inexcusable for someone being paid what Dunn is being paid. But let’s look at the past to see how the future might turn out.
In eight of nine seasons where Dunn has played at least 100 games, he has hit at least 38 home runs and 90 RBIs.Those are Hall of Fame numbers. Guys who hit that consistently for that long aren’t a fluke—and their talent doesn’t go away overnight.
This is Dunn’s first season in the American League, and his first as a designated hitter. That’s quite an adjustment for someone who has played all 10 seasons in the National League at first base.
It’s just going to take some time for Dunn to adjust. Many people have suggested the White Sox bench Dunn, but you simply can’t do that.
He needs plate appearances. He needs to adjust to his new role as DH. Believe me, Dunn won’t be putting up such poor numbers for too much longer. He’ll get it, it’s just going to take time.
The White Sox are creeping back into contention in the A.L. Central, and if they want to win, Dunn will have to hit like he’s done in the past.
Share your thoughts with S.C. Zuba via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the June 15-21, 2011 issue