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White Sox Mon Apr 22 2013

White Sox Dealing With Adam Dunn's Slump

Sox_200.pngAdam Dunn cracked his third home run of the season Sunday afternoon, sending a Josh Roenicke fastball over the fence in center field. The Sox desperately needed some offense at the moment, trailing by three runs in the seventh. Dunn came through for the team then.

Other than that, Dunn has been horrendous.

Horrendous might not even be the right word. It's kind of like in the George Orwell novel 1984, when the government tried to establish Newspeak -- basically, Dunn's season would be described as "duodecuple ungood" right now.

Anyway, Dunn's home run snapped a 31 at-bat hitless streak, and on the season he's hitting .108 with 26 strikeouts and three walks. Dunn's game has always been based around Three True Outcomes; this year it's been based around the only bad one of the three (strikeouts).

The slugger isn't worried. Dunn talked about his struggles recently, and he said, "For the most part, I've been swinging pretty good. Just hitting some balls kind of where they're playing. I haven't been hitting the ball in the air too much. I need to get back to just seeing it and swinging and getting some good wood on it."

That's a good mindset to have. He's not panicked, he's not dejected. Ignoring the vague jock-talk, he understands it's a long season, and that since his batting approach is so simple (get up there and smash the living daylights out of the ball regardless of the situation) he'll eventually snap out of it.

That could happen. Or maybe it won't - look at his 2011 season. Dunn can only turn on pitches in one spot (low and away) and he typically hits right into the defensive shift. Also, for reasons that remain unclear, Dunn is swinging at the first pitch more, which has killed him - he's either making a quick out (2-for-12 on balls in play on the first pitch), or he's getting behind in the count 0-1. Not a good spot for a high-strikeout guy.

The worse part is, he just looks out of whack. On Sunday, his swing was slow, and he weakly fouled off some pitches. He reached for balls out of the zone (like usual). And when he stepped into the box with two outs in the ninth, the game just felt over. Sox down two, their one of their best hitters at the plate, and it was ballgame before Glen Perkins even threw a pitch to him. Not surprisingly, Dunn struck out swinging.

We've been seeing that a lot this season. It would be easier to live with if Dunn was at least drawing walks, but this year he's just been an out-making machine. Duodecuply ungood, indeed.

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