Adam Dunn entered tonight’s action batting .115 (2-for-21) with zero homers and an 8/3 K/BB ratio over his last seven games, but he picked a pretty good time to bust out of his recent slump.
Dunn helped the White Sox snap a five-game losing streak tonight by homering twice in a 5-4 win over the Indians. He had a solo shot to center field off Zach McAllister in the sixth inning and a go-ahead three-run shot to right-center field off Vinnie Pestano with two outs in the bottom of the eighth.
After hitting just .159 with 11 home runs last season in the first year of a four-year, $56 million contract, Dunn has 41 home runs and 94 RBI this season. This is the sixth 40-homer season of his career and his first since 2008.
The Tigers defeated the Royals 6-2 tonight behind ace Justin Verlander, so the White Sox remain one game in front in the American League Central.
On Monday, Major League Baseball announced some changes aimed at improving the game’s pace of play, something that has been a pet cause for commissioner Rob Manfred. Among the changes was a limit on mound visits whether from managers and coaches, the catcher, or other defenders. Each team will have six non-pitching change mound visits per game and one additional visit each inning in extra innings. Craig wrote more in depth on the changes here if you happened to miss it.
Angels catcher Martin Maldonado says he is going to do what’s necessary to stay on the same page with his pitchers. Via Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register, Maldonado said, “If the game is on the line, I’m going to go out there. If we’re at six [visits], and it’s going to be the seventh, I’m going to go out there, even if I have to pay a fine. I’m there for the pitchers.”
Cubs catcher Willson Contreras said as much on Tuesday. Per Josh Frydman of WGN News, Contreras said, “What about if you have a tight game and you have to go out there? They can’t say anything about that, that’s my team and we just care about wins. If they’re going to fine me about number seven mound visit, I’ll pay the price.”
Exhibition games haven’t even started yet, but two notable backstops — the lesser-known Maldonado won a Gold Glove last year — are clearly not happy with the rule change. As Craig alluded to in his article yesterday, arguments between catchers and umpires (and, subsequently, managers and umpires) are probably going to become more frequent, which would likely end up nullifying any pace of play improvements.