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Old 04-15-2013, 02:10 PM
TDog TDog is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Modesto, California
Posts: 17,832

Originally Posted by blandman View Post
I know Dunn's been bad, and he did have that historically bad season, but his numbers weren't atrocious last year. ...

Yes, they were. If another player with a midrange salary and minimal defensive skills playing for a contending team, which the White Sox very much were, was putting up the sort of numbers (say, a younger player or a Jason Giambi-type who had been picked up after being released by another team or traded for a player to be named later), he wouldn't have remained in the lineup on an everyday basis.

He hit home runs, which was what people noticed because he hadn't done that before, but he set a new American League record for strikeouts. He led the league in walks, but I read where he was called out on strikes as many times as he walked, although I find that hard to believe.
The White Sox did fairly well with runners in scoring position last year, if you only look at the numbers relative to the rest of the league. The American League averaged .255. But Dunn, with the most RISP at bats of any White Sox hitter had the lowest RISP batting average, .212, of anyone with more than a few RISP at bats. He was supposed to produce runs, he came up with more runners in scoring position than anyone on the team and led the team in RBIs, but he was the worst regular in the lineup at driving in runners in scoring position. Miguel Cabrera led the league in RBIs, not just because he led the league in home runs, but because he hit .356 with runners in scoring position.

On-base percentage is meaningless if you only hit .204, unless your job is to get on base. If your job is to drive in runs -- and the batting order was designed to maximum the number of times Dunn came up with runners in scoring position -- an atrociously low batting average is failure.
You are better off watching the game and find stats that support what you saw than finding stats that contradict what you saw. I saw Dunn having a terrible season last year after having a worse season the previous year and continuing to be an offensive black hole this year. The numbers don't exist in isolation. They tell you what players did while the team as a whole won or lost. It isn't a matter of plugging numbers into a lineup and coming up with runs and plugging numbers into the starting rotation and coming up with runs and comeing up with win based on the difference. You may be able to find numbers that support arguments over who is better than who, but you are taking them out of the context of the game.

Even last week against the Nationals, Dunn had an RBI with a double in his fourth at bat to make the game closer as the Sox were trailing late. A successful at bat, certainly, but in the previous three at bats, Dunn came up with runners in scoring position with the game tied and a chance to give the White Sox the lead. He failed each time. He went close to what usually falls as the league average for runners in scoring position, but had he doubled in one of his first three at bats, the game would have been very different.

That was just one game, of course. I am pulling for Dunn to do better. i would live to see him hit .260 and cut his strikeouts in half. I have to cheer for him because my team has committed to him at such a high price. I have never believed he was a good hitter as long as I've watched him play, but I have to hope he works on becoming one. If he doesn't do appreciably more than he has done these first two years-plus to help the team win, considering the money committed to him that can't be used elsewhere, considering the black hole he creates in a key spot in the lineup, there is no question Dunn will be known as the standard for bad White Sox free agent signings.

I just looked a the poll optins. Steve Sax came in a trade with the Yankees for three pitchers.
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