Originally Posted by TaylorStSox
The best way to win games, unless something changed, is to score more runs than the opposition. Dunn scored far more runs and knocked in far more runs.
Beckham's defense is becoming the stuff of legends. He is a vacuum. He is fantastic at turning the double play. He has a very strong arm for a second baseman. He also has very, very limited range. He isn't even the best defender, relative to position, on the team. Rios and Ramirez are far better defenders. Ramirez is a far better defender at a far more important position. Compound that with Beckham being among the very worst hitting second baseman in baseball, and he has little to no value.
I know you don't like Dunn. I don't really like him either. I'd prefer a more versatile hitter. However, to say one of the worst players in baseball is more important is just ludicrous. By any measure besides power, Gordon Beckham is pretty awful.
I am happy with a strong-defensive, light-hitting middle infielder. Teams can win, have won with strong defefensive, light-hitting middle-infielders. You have to have great pitching to win, and being strong up the middle makes your pitching better. If you benched Beckham last year for lack of hitting, you would have diminished the defense and the pitching would suffer. You may be able to replace him over the off-season with a better bat, but you would have to do it in a way that doesn't diminish the defense, which in turn would diminish the pitching.
Replacing Adam Dunn wouldn't be as difficult. It wouldn't be a matter of finding someone to hit as many home runs. With the opportunities Dunn had to drive in runs last season, he would have produced more runs by hitting fewer home runs for a substantially higher average, that is to say, substantially higher than Beckham, who had a substantially higher average than Dunn.
I'm not arguing that Beckham should DH. I am arguing that he does his job better than Dunn does his. You don't need hit .204 and strike out 222 times to hit more than 40 home runs. You don't need to hit home runs to drive in runs when you come up with runners in scoring position more than anyone on your team (note that Dunn got six fewer hits with runners in scoring position than Beckham in more than 20 more plate appearances). You don't need to hit home runs to win games or even championships. The team that hit the fewest number of home runs in baseball during the regular season swept the World Series.
You can put together stats to show that Dunn wasn't a huge problem on offense last year. If you watched the games, you know differently.