This article was originally written by Morris Daily Herald Staff Writer Mark Johnson.
When Adam Dunn signed with the White Sox, I thought 200 strikeouts this season would be possible. Dunn reaching 100 strikeouts as early as June 26, therefore, wasn't outlandish.
What I would never have imagined is that a slugger as consistent as Dunn would have 7 home runs and a .173 batting average on this late date. No way. That the guy who hit 38 or more home runs every single year for seven consecutive seasons prior to this one,calling U.S. Cellular Field home, would be slugging .316. No way. That the guy worth over three wins per season over a replacement player five different times, according to FanGraphs, being worth a full win less than a replacement player to his team. No way.
As Sox fans are well aware, Dunn has been as bad as his numbers indicate. They've watched Paul Konerko and Carlos Quentin have kept rallies going in front of him ... and then he's come up and struck out. The strikeouts were something I knew — and Sox fans that did their homework knew — would be part of the package with Dunn. I also thought they'd be accompained by a ton of walks ... and more than the occasional 3-run homer
Sox fans have responded by booing, which I can't fault them for, and Sox manager Ozzie Guillen and company have responded by not knowing quite what to do. Guillen dropped Dunn in the batting order earlier, but has been hitting him fifth again lately, and his failures in that spot played no small part in the team losing two of three to the Nationals. It's getting pretty ugly on the south side.
What should the Sox do? I guess they can't exactly do what I've done as a fantasy owner, which is stash Dunn on the bench and think very hard about taking him to the "Drop Player" screen. Maybe they could try inventing a reasonnot to play him for a little while. More likely, Guillen will keep writing Dunn into the lineup and hoping he turns it around. Him doing so could be the difference between the Sox prevailing and coming up short in what promises to be a close AL Central race.
This article was originally published for www.morrisdailyherald.com. It has been republished with the consent of the Morris Daily Herald and its author. You can find the original entry here http://www.morrisdailyherald.com/blogs/entries/2011/06/27/15392161/index.xml