Adam Dunn is coming off one of the worst seasons anyone could possibly have, but former White Sox manager and new Marlins’ skipper Ozzie Guillen claims that he knew the high-priced slugger was doomed from the start.
During an appearance yesterday on the “Waddle & Silvy Show” on ESPN 1000 in Chicago, Guillen said that he and his coaching staff knew that Dunn had some major issues with his swing just a couple days into spring training last year (via J.J. Stankevitz of CSNChicago.com).
“I looked at his swing and I told [bench coach] Joey Cora going home, ‘We’ve got a big problem,’ ” Guillen told the show.
Dunn ended up batting .224 with three homers and 27 strikeouts over 67 at-bats during Cactus League action. He appeared to find himself just in time for the start of the regular season, going 4-for-14 with one home run and five RBI over his first four games, but he never got back on track after undergoing an appendectomy on April 6 and returning less than one week later.
Many have pointed to Dunn’s offseason habits, primarily that he doesn’t usually swing a bat over the winter, as the major reason for his historically bad 2011. And maybe there’s some truth to that. In fact, Dunn has made an effort this offseason to hit a couple of times a week. But rushing back from his appendectomy surely didn’t help matters, either.
Every now and then, The Players’ Tribune runs a “five toughest” feature. In 2015, David Ortiz listed the five toughest pitchers he ever faced. Last month, Christian Yelich wrote up the five toughest pitchers in the NL East. Now, it’s Ian Kinsler‘s turn with the five toughest pitchers in the AL Central.
Kinsler goes into detail explaining why each pitcher is difficult to face, so hop over to The Players’ Tribune for his reasoning. His list
Presumably, Kinsler intentionally omitted his Tiger teammates from the list. He has faced Justin Verlander a fair amount earlier in his career, and he has only a .176/.333/.235 batting line in 42 plate appearances against the right-hander. Verlander’s stuff is often described as tough to hit in one phrase or another. Kinsler has also struggled against Indians starter Carlos Carrasco (.590 OPS), but one can understand why he would be omitted from a list of five given who was already listed.
Angels first baseman C.J. Cron hit a grand slam against the Mets on Sunday, but it wasn’t enough to keep his spot on the major league roster as the club announced his demotion to Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday. Infielder Nolan Fantana has been promoted from Salt Lake.
Cron, 27, was hitting a disappointing .232/.281/.305 with one home run and RBI in 90 plate appearances. I guess you can say that wasn’t the kind of Cron job the Angels were expecting. Cron was an above-average hitter in each of his first three seasons, finishing with an OPS+, or adjusted OPS, of 111, 106, and 115 (100 is average).
While Cron is figuring things out in the minors, Luis Valbuena, Jefry Marte, and Albert Pujols could each see some time at first base.