Figgins, Dunn, Rios, Uggla, Wells... Mendoza? Stats like OPS, OBP, WAR, and others might be the rage lately, but if you are hitting around .200 and playing every day, there is very little else to indicate why you should stay in the lineup. TCO takes a look at a handful of awful performances this season and examines whether each team is making a sound judgment in managing the player's playing time. The results are a bit surprising, especially to the knee-jerk callers to call-in sports talk shows who immediately want Player A removed from the lineup or traded without a reasonable solution. Read all about it in the latest Hot Corner.
After a few days of terrible sports talk radio with nothing to debate but the importance of the All-Star Game (the players have spoken - THEY don't think it's important) and women's soccer, baseball returns. Now is your chance to look at the underperforming (*cough* Adam Dunn) and make your seemingly prophetic predictions about how well these players will perform the rest of the way when, in reality, they will simply be regressing to the norm. Can Adam Dunn really finish an entire season hitting .160?!?! It doesn't look good right now, but unless he's hiding an injury, the most consistent power hitter of the past decade (HRs of 38-38-40-40-40-40-46 the past 7 years) should slowly figure it out. While his abominable start has now become an abominable first half (9 HR, .597 OPS), any return to his norm could still yield a year of 25 HR, 78 RBI, and a climbing OPS closer to .720 which would go a long way toward helping the White Sox contend.
I thought Dunn was one of the best signings this past offseason and so far, I was dead wrong, but the only anomaly in his career are this year's stats, so if you had to bet on his future, you should expect him to hit more like his career numbers going forward unless you believe his baseball skills have abruptly eroded to nothing overnight. At just 31 years old, I'm not ready to buy into Dunn being done just yet.
Things I didn't think I'd be saying AFTER the Fourth of July this year:
- The Indians are in first place.
- That Jose Bautista guy is for real.
- If Pittsburgh just keeps playing like they have been, they have a shot at the division.
- Minnesota is not playing up to its capabilities.
- I wonder if the White Sox should sit Adam Dunn.
Things that didn't surprise:
- The Yankees are Red Sox continue to fight for the AL East.
- No matter how well Atlanta plays, Philadelphia just doesn't slump.
- 87 games in, and San Diego is still waiting to score run number 300.
- The Royals continue to bring up hyped prospects only to continue losing.