Bill Ladson of MLB.com heard from a source Sunday that the Tigers have “great interest” in Nationals first baseman Adam Dunn. FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal suspects that the Nats may be leaking this news to drive up the White Sox’s offer, but it’s worth looking into anyway.
The Tigers have been hit with three major injuries in the past few days. Third baseman Brandon Inge is out with a broken bone in his left hand, outfielder Magglio Ordonez could miss up to two months with a fractured ankle and second baseman Carlos Guillen was placed on the disabled list Sunday with a calf strain.
There’s no doubt that they could use a bat, and Dunn has slugged with the best of them this season. Through 351 at-bats, he’s hitting .279/.368/.564 with 23 home runs and 63 RBI. The Tigers have used Johnny Damon at DH for the most part this season, but he’s needed in the outfield with this sudden rush of injuries. Dunn could DH, then, in Detroit.
The 30-year-old Dunn is earning $12 million this year and will be a free agent once the offseason hits. The Nationals have abandoned the idea of trying to ink him to a contract extension because his demands have been sky-high.
With his team trailing 8-3 to begin the bottom of the ninth inning of Sunday’s game against the Astros, Indians third baseman José Ramirez eventually won a 17-pitch at-bat against closer Ken Giles, ripping a double off of the wall in right field. The Indians would go on to score five runs on seven hits to tie the game against Giles and Hector Rondon. Ramirez almost won the game in his second at-bat of the ninth inning, but first basebamn Yuli Gurriel made a terrific diving catch on a line drive otherwise headed for the right field corner.
Giants first baseman Brandon Belt set a new modern record for the longest at-bat last month, seeing 21 pitches against the Angels’ Jaime Barria. The Astros’ Ricky Gutierrez sfaw 20 pitches from the Indians’ Bartolo Colon on June 26, 1998, which was the previous record. Kevin Bass saw 19 pitches from the Phillies’ Steve Bedrosian in 1988. There have also been five 18-pitch at-bats from Brian Downing, Bip Roberts, Alex Cora, Adam Kennedy, and Marcus Semien.
Sunday’s game wound up going 14 innings. The Astros pulled ahead 9-8 in the top of the 13th on a solo home run from Evan Gattis. However, the Indians’ Yonder Alonso responded with a solo shot of his own in the bottom of the 13th to re-knot the game at 9-9. Greg Allen then lifted a walk-off solo homer in the bottom of the 14th to give the Indians a 10-9 win.
After Sunday’s effort, Ramirez is batting .292/.389/.605 with 15 home runs, 37 RBI, 34 runs scored, and seven stolen bases. According to FanGraphs, his 3.5 Wins Above Replacement ranks third across baseball behind Mike Trout (4.4) and Mookie Betts (4.1). They’re the only players at three wins or above.