Adam Dunn (0-for-38 against lefties) sits versus Jon Lester

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After beginning the season in a 0-for-38 slump against left-handed pitching Adam Dunn got yesterday off versus one of the league’s toughest lefties, Red Sox ace Jon Lester.

Ozzie Guillen talked previously about being patient with Dunn, but the manager has since moved him from the No. 3 spot in the batting order and is now sitting him altogether against certain pitchers, which certainly isn’t what the White Sox signed up for when they gave him a four-year, $56 million deal as a free agent this winter.

With an OPS above .850 in seven straight seasons Dunn is too good to remain in this season-long slump for long, but his struggles against lefties may not go away even when he gets back on track overall. Dunn’s career numbers versus southpaws are good, but even before going 0-for-38 off them this year he hit just .199 off them in 2010 and hasn’t had an OPS above .800 against lefties since 2006.

MLB’s juiced baseball is juicing Triple-A home run totals too

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There has been considerable evidence amassed over the past year or two that the baseball used by Major League Baseball has a lower aerodynamic profile, leading to less drag, which leads directly to more home runs. If you doubted that at all, get a load of what is happening in Triple-A right now.

The minors have always had different balls than the majors. The MLB ball is made in Costa Rica at a Rawlings facility. The minor league balls are made in China. They use slightly different materials and, by all accounts, the minor league balls do not have the same sort of action and do not travel as far as the big league balls. Before the season, as Baseball America reported, Major League Baseball requested that Triple-A baseball switch to using MLB balls. The reason: uniformity and, one presumes, more accurate analysis of performance at the top level of the minor leagues.

The result, as Baseball America reports today, is a massive uptick in homers in the early going to the Triple-A season:

Last April, Triple-A hitters homered once every 47 plate appearances. As the weather warmed up, so did the home run rate. Over the course of the entire 2018 season, Triple-A hitters homered every 43 plate appearances. So far this year, they are homering every 32 plate appearances. Triple-A hitters are hitting home runs at a rate of 135 percent of last year’s rate.

Again, that’s in the coldest, least-homer friendly month of the season. It’s gonna just get worse. Or better, I guess, if you’re all about the long ball.

Which you had better be, because if they did something to deaden the balls and reduce homers, we’d have the same historically-high strikeout and walk rates but with no homers to provide offense to compensate. At least unless or until hitters changed their approach to become slap hitters or something, but that could take a good while. And may still not be effective given the advances in defense since the last time slap hitting was an important part of the game.

In the meantime, enjoy the dingers, Triple-A fans.