By Adam Harris-
U.S. CELLULAR FIELD (CBS) In 2011, Adam Dunn struggled all season, hitting .159 with a .292 on-base percentage, .277 slugging percentage and a .569 on-base plus slugging. All of those were career worsts by a long shot.
After one month this season, believe it or not, Dunn is on pace for a worse season, except in the power numbers.
Currently Dunn is hitting .108 with an .185 on-base. Dunn has walked only six times this season, and is seeing a career worst 4.07 pitches per plate appearance. In 2011, Dunn was hitting .160 with a .300 on base and had walked 14 times through the month of April.
Dunn has shown signs of improvement as of late, with a home run this past Sunday afternoon and Thursday night, and that gives his manager confidence to not move him from that third spot in the lineup.
“I like him in that spot,” Robin Ventura said. “If he’s going to walk and put up the good at-bats he has the past few nights, and you put him up there with (Paul Konerko) and (Conor) Gillaspie behind him, he can be dangerous and get Rios some pitches. Right now that’s a good spot for him.”
Dunn has taken some criticism since arriving in Chicago. Despite his career lows in almost all categories that season, he still saw 4.40 pitches per plate appearance (tied for the second highest in his career), and he walked 75 times.
Dunn is currently on pace for just under 40 walks this year. Although his power numbers are better so far than in 2011, the ability to go deep into the count seems to be missing. It doesn’t change Dunn’s mentality in the clubhouse.
“As far as what we get inside the clubhouse and as a teammate, it’s as good as you can get,” Ventura said. “He’s upbeat enough and a stand up guy that he just wants to win. That stuff is never in question.”
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