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.
Pirates outfielder Starling Marte is back in the lineup after the team reinstated him from the 10-day disabled list on Saturday. Marte served the bare minimum on the DL after making a rapid recovery from the right oblique strain that sidelined him several weeks ago.
Prior to landing on the disabled list, the 29-year-old outfielder was off to a strong start. He slashed a robust .308/.366/.503 with six home runs, 10 stolen bases and an .869 OPS in 175 plate appearances with the team. This is the first time he’s dealt with an oblique issue, and the first DL stint he’s served since he suffered a bout of back tightness in 2016. While he has yet to prove he can bounce back to his pre-injury production levels, his quick recovery bodes well for a successful return to major-league play.
In a corresponding move, outfielder Jose Osuna was optioned to Triple-A Indianapolis. The move came as somewhat of a surprise, given that the Pirates elected to retain top prospect outfielder Austin Meadows rather than the more established Osuna. Meadows was recalled from Triple-A in the wake of Marte’s injury and has only played seven games at the major league level so far, but he’s already made a strong impression: he went 13-for-29 with three home runs, two stolen bases and five RBI since his call-up on May 18.