Lance Berkman, Adrian Gonzalez, Vladimir Guerrero and David Wright have all done it seven games in a row. Kyle Blanks, Brett Wallace and Mike Moustakas are some of the lesser lights to do it at least five games in a row. Now Adam Dunn has at least done it twice in a row. With two doubles in Tuesday’s 4-3 loss to the Indians, he’s posted back-to-back multihit games for the first time this season.
Dunn, who started just two games in a 19-day span beinning in late August, was given one final chance by manager Ozzie Guillen on Saturday. He went 0-for-4 that day and 1-for-4 the next, but he finished 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI on Monday and 2-for-4 with another RBI today.
It’s raised his average to .168, the highest he’s finished a day since he was at .171 back on July 4.
The obvious hope is that Dunn can build a little confidence to take with him into next season. The White Sox are on the hook for $14 million in 2012 and $15 million each of the following two years, so there will be no giving up on him anytime soon.
Of course, there’s really nothing Dunn can do from here to make his numbers look anything other than atrocious. He’s currently 66-for-393 with nine games remaining. The best-case scenario: if he could hit .333 in 30 at-bats the rest of the way, that would get him up to a .180 average for the season.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.