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  1. Also missing a week to have his appendix removed and being put right back into the lineup probably didn’t do wonders for his timing.

    Comment by JK — May 3, 2011 @ 4:14 pm

  2. Could be dude is actually NOT Wolverine and needed some time to get back on track after the appendectomy. Matt Holliday on the other hand might have x-men powers.

    Comment by Josh — May 3, 2011 @ 4:35 pm

  3. FYI, when you’re discussing these guys with early season struggles who have batting averages below the Mendoza line, using IsoP can be really misleading. In Dunn’s case, compare his 2011 and career IsoP: .139 vs .269 (huge difference). But if you look at it in terms of bases-per-hit (TB/H): 1.20 vs 1.32 (not so significant).

    IsoP basically punishes guys with very low batting averages.

    Comment by Yirmiyahu — May 3, 2011 @ 4:39 pm

  4. “the improved pitching of the American League”

    Those stellar pitchers of the Minnesota Twins? The award winning Indians staff? The fearsome Royals 5?

    Too bad he got out of the NL East. I mean, it’s not like there’s good pitching in that league.

    Comment by hunterfan — May 3, 2011 @ 4:47 pm

  5. I think his Swing% are pretty similar to last season. He has been swinging more out of the zone and missing more. If he continues to ‘under achieve’ everyone will blame his downfall on AL pitching and not the fact that he isn’t as good as he was in the past and his skill set is one that fades quickly.

    Comment by jimiu — May 3, 2011 @ 4:48 pm

  6. “There are three reasons why Dunn is struggling so far: a) he has been a victim of the luck dragon; b) he has not found his power stroke; c) his strikeouts are up.”

    This is the exact same thing as the Carlos Pena article, yet a very different conclusion.

    Comment by Dandy Salderson — May 3, 2011 @ 5:06 pm

  7. Haven’t I read that being a DH makes it harder for players to hit? You can’t hit major league pitching unless your “up”. Dhing makes it harder for a player to get going, so a part of Dunn’s fall probably comes from having to adjust to DHing everyday.

    Comment by kick me in the GO NATS — May 3, 2011 @ 5:12 pm

  8. A low HR/FB breeds a reduced BABIP on fly balls because HR don’t count as balls in play. This is important; it’s not that he needs his fly balls to fall for hits, but rather that he needs to hit them farther so they clear the fence. He just isn’t hitting the ball as hard yet this year. I bet if his HR/FB numbers return to regular career levels, he won’t have the BABIP problems you are talking about.

    Also, isn’t .750 BABIP on liners close to league average? That may well be mere regression after last year’s higher mark. I’m not sure on that one tho.

    Comment by Caleb W — May 3, 2011 @ 5:25 pm

  9. honestly, how could you write an article about “what’s wrong with Dunn” at this point and NOT make a single mention of his emergency appendectomy? And he’s also admitted since that he came back too early and wasn’t fully recovered.

    lazy journalism.

    Comment by batpig — May 3, 2011 @ 5:26 pm

  10. IIRC, switching to a DH causes an average of 5% production across the board.

    Comment by jaywrong — May 3, 2011 @ 5:26 pm

  11. ^drop

    Comment by jaywrong — May 3, 2011 @ 5:26 pm

  12. also, it would be nice to see an analysis article like this that wasn’t just something I could have read myself by looking at his player page.

    Comment by batpig — May 3, 2011 @ 5:28 pm

  13. Not that quickly.

    Comment by RobBob — May 3, 2011 @ 5:31 pm

  14. Too fat LOL.

    Comment by Slats — May 3, 2011 @ 5:36 pm

  15. Dunn has been a very streaky player throughout his career. This year he has experienced a two-week drought (following his appendectomy, it has been noted) where he hit nothing for power. That sort of thing has happened to him in the past: for example, from Aug 12 – Aug 27 last year he had a string of 59 PAs with only 6 hits, 3 doubles, and 9 walks for a 15-game slash line 0f .125/.271/.188.
    He came through it just fine though. Ask again in late May, if he’s still not hitting.

    Comment by RobBob — May 3, 2011 @ 5:41 pm

  16. Just keep repeating it to yourself: if it’s in the AL, it’s better.

    Comment by RobBob — May 3, 2011 @ 5:42 pm

  17. The White Sox haven’t played the Twins (yet), only two against the Royals and three with the Tribe (Dunn missed one of the Royals games). The Sox have played a lot of games against the Angels, A’s, Yankees and Rays however.

    Comment by Otter — May 3, 2011 @ 5:43 pm

  18. “The White Sox haven’t played the Twins (yet), only two against the Royals and three with the Tribe (Dunn missed one of the Royals games). The Sox have played a lot of games against the Angels, A’s, Yankees and Rays however.”

    Pft, get out of here with your facts. I root for an NL team and can’t accept that that AL is undeniably superior. It’s just a coincidence that Adam Dunn is going to turn into Adam Lind after switching leagues.

    Comment by Jim — May 3, 2011 @ 6:10 pm

  19. “The White Sox haven’t played the Twins (yet), only two against the Royals and three with the Tribe (Dunn missed one of the Royals games). The Sox have played a lot of games against the Angels, A’s, Yankees and Rays however.”

    Pft, get out of here with your facts. I root for an NL team and can’t accept that that AL is undeniably superior. It’s just a coincidence that Adam Dunn is going to turn into Adam Lind after switching leagues…

    Comment by Jim — May 3, 2011 @ 6:10 pm

  20. Seems like these “What’s Wrong With …” columns are getting a bit overplayed here. Can’t we at least get a few “What’s Right With …” columns on players who are overachieving dramatically versus historical standards?

    Comment by reillocity — May 3, 2011 @ 6:20 pm

  21. For what it’s worth, Dunn has an .846 Power Factor. Still the lowest he’s had since 2002, but looking at last year’s numbers it would rank just under the 90th percentile.

    Comment by Lewie Pollis — May 3, 2011 @ 6:28 pm

  22. Prince Fielder?

    Comment by Ree — May 3, 2011 @ 6:46 pm

  23. Otter: You just did more analysis on the quality of pitching Dunn has faced than the article did.

    FWIW, I have no idea whether the quality of pitching Dunn has faced as a member of the White Sox is appreciably better or worse than what he would have faced as a Natinal, but I do think SOME level of analysis is called for if you want to go down that road, not just a blanket (over)generalization.

    Comment by hunterfan — May 3, 2011 @ 7:44 pm

  24. Although being that the average is 5%, it is entirely possible that Dunn is affected far more than average…10%, 20%, etc. Call it the Pat Burrell disease.

    Comment by hunterfan — May 3, 2011 @ 7:47 pm

  25. Take it from someone living in the Midwest. It is tough to hit a Baseball when it’s 40 degrees, and we have not had spring in this part of the country yet. Reason two for Dunn is coming back far too quickly after that appendix attack.

    Comment by Iceman11 — May 3, 2011 @ 7:56 pm

  26. Cold weather…appendix issues…new team…new league…new role as DH…suffering attacks by the luck dragon…

    …can’t we allow him to mulligan 100 PA?

    Comment by chuckd — May 3, 2011 @ 8:50 pm

  27. Whatever it is doesn’t seem to be getting better. He has made 3 outs in 2 AB already tonight.

    Comment by MikeS — May 3, 2011 @ 9:09 pm

  28. Little known fact – it warms up 20 degrees when Quentin or Konerko come to the plate.

    Sorry, I just hate it when players blame the weather for their woes. The appendix, fine.

    Comment by MikeS — May 3, 2011 @ 9:14 pm

  29. Oh, and tonights Twins is Francisico Liriano. As in “What’s wrong with Francisco Liriano.” So much for superior AL pitching, at least for tonight.

    I think somebody suggested in that article that the White Sox would fix whatever was wrong with Liriano.

    Comment by MikeS — May 3, 2011 @ 9:17 pm

  30. We’ve been hearing this “skill set fades quickly” line regarding Dunn for like 5 years now; generally followed with a “this year will spell doom” like comment. He was supposed to be “for sure” done by the time he was 28; how’ed that work out?

    When can we just admit we have probably never seen a hitter like him in the history of the game who has been so consistent with his ability, and acknowledge that it pretty much throws out all preconceived theories on his aging…

    Comment by JoeyO — May 3, 2011 @ 9:19 pm

  31. couldnt agree more.

    Dunn has even admitted he probably came back at least 5 games early, and that had to have affected his numbers a ton – a season which is still young anyway. To ignore the injury in the article is irresponsible imo – it could be the absolute sole reason his numbers are low to this point…

    Comment by JoeyO — May 3, 2011 @ 9:23 pm

  32. i would hesitate to say that we have never seen a player like Adam Dunn before. I would also not say that we can throw out all preconceived theories on aging because, well, people age and get slower and weaker and less athletic. the same will hold true for Adam Dunn as it will for anyone else. i’m not saying that he is old and washed up, but that we can’t just say “oh he is still good, so he must not age like human beings.”

    Comment by phoenix2042 — May 3, 2011 @ 10:13 pm

  33. Uh, it seems to me that Dunn is absolutely as capable of falling off a cliff into a black hole as any other high K, high walk slugger. That he hasn’t done it yet may mean that he’s aging better than most of his phenotype, and there is the possibility that he’s a real outlier and his aging won’t look anything like the players he otherwise resembles. But played like Dunn fall apart for no readily apparent reason all the freaking time. There’s a reason people keep predicting or speculating about it with respect to Dunn. Someday, they will probably be right.

    Comment by NBarnes — May 3, 2011 @ 10:22 pm

  34. I’m still not seeing how the pitching of the A’s, Angels, Yankees and Rays is superior to that of the Phillies, Marlins and Braves.

    If the AL is still the better league, it’s still because the AL East is clearly the best division in MLB, while the NL Central is just as clearly the worst. But the other 4 divisions are about equal, and I’d argue that top to bottom the NL West and East are superior to the AL West and Central.

    Comment by Candlestick Parker — May 3, 2011 @ 10:56 pm

  35. So after the Liriano article today and what just happened about an hour ago, I fully expect Adam Dunn to hit 4 home runs tomorrow.

    Comment by BaconSlayer09 — May 3, 2011 @ 11:01 pm

  36. typical fangraphs approach.

    Comment by delv — May 3, 2011 @ 11:28 pm

  37. “For the luck, Dunn’s BABIP is only .238 so far in 2011. While he has had two seasons under .260 in his career, there is no reason why his BABIP should not creep closer to his .295 career average as the season progresses.”

    Why does no one on fangraphs use xBABIP? It’s a great stat and it renders BABIP usable.

    Comment by MintyRoadkill — May 3, 2011 @ 11:50 pm

    “White Sox is appreciably better or worse than what he would have faced as a Natinal”
    It was only one game where that occurred.

    Comment by My echo and bunnymen — May 4, 2011 @ 12:33 am

  39. Hahahaha

    Comment by Scott — May 4, 2011 @ 8:01 am

  40. The ball goes farther in warm weather. It’s not an excuse it’s a fact that could have appreciable value based on the fact his flayball rate is similar to previous years without resulting in home runs. You can hate it all you want, but you’re wrong! Add in the other factors discussed here and comparing him to Konerko and Quentin (who are used to spring in Chicago) seems ridiculous.

    Comment by SKob — May 4, 2011 @ 9:21 am

  41. Halladay and Lee both had to sacrifice some of their ability when they changed leagues.

    Comment by NEPP — May 4, 2011 @ 9:50 am

  42. I’ve talked to Brooks Boyer about changing the 2011 White Sox marketing slogan from “ALL IN” to “WE FOLD”

    Comment by Sox27 — May 4, 2011 @ 9:59 am

  43. I hope it’s as simple as getting adjusted to the AL. The Sox gave him a king’s ransom to DH (just like Victor and the Tigres) and they’re both on my fantasy team…

    Comment by azteccrawdaddy — May 4, 2011 @ 10:10 am

  44. Everything travels slower in more dense materials.

    How many feet does the cold air shorten the fly balls?

    Also … is the AL pitcher talent still a factor?

    Didn;t some of the best AL pitchers move to the NL?

    Comment by CircleChange11 — May 4, 2011 @ 10:37 am

  45. mo vaughn

    Comment by adohaj — May 4, 2011 @ 10:41 am

  46. EPIC

    Comment by adohaj — May 4, 2011 @ 10:42 am

  47. could it be that on average the 3/4/5 starters in the AL are better? I mean 3/4/5 starters do pitch 60% of the games played

    Comment by adohaj — May 4, 2011 @ 10:44 am


    Comment by cplayo — May 4, 2011 @ 12:46 pm

  49. Help me out:

    I do not understand why you always attribute low BABIPs to luck, is there somewhere i can read why is that.

    You wrote that Dunn has not found his power stroke yet, so aren´t well hit ground balls more likely to go for hits the same way as well hit line drives are more likely to go over the fence? I think that it would be interesting to correlate power numbers with babip

    Comment by Salo — May 4, 2011 @ 1:15 pm

  50. I’m confused – why go through the process of looking at his numbers and underlying skills this season (which have all been terrible) if you’re just going to come to the conclusion: “With a little adjustment and some better luck, Dunn will finish near the 40 home runs and 100 RBIs that everyone penciled in for him this season”?

    Comment by Todd — May 4, 2011 @ 1:19 pm

  51. The argument is that overall, the pitching in AL is better than that of the NL. The Phillies have a great rotation, but that does not mean the entire league does.

    Comment by Steve from Rockford — May 4, 2011 @ 2:37 pm

  52. Apparently, J.P. Ricciardi was right.

    Adam Dunn clearly just doesn’t like baseball.

    With his retirement contract now signed, it’s life in the fat lane for Adam here on out.

    Comment by everdiso — May 4, 2011 @ 3:07 pm

  53. Prince is a HOF player…..these other guys are bad contracts and fat.

    Comment by LionoftheSenate — May 4, 2011 @ 3:23 pm

  54. Can we see one called “What’s Wrong with the White Sox?” Thirteen hitters playing this poorly for this long is NOT normal.

    Comment by Mike — May 4, 2011 @ 5:04 pm

  55. I think some people would like to see things like this explained, not stated. I think the pitching Dunn is facing may very well be superior to what he saw last year, but I sincerely doubt it has more than a slight effect. I think SSS and the appendectimy are the two largest culprits here.

    Comment by TK — May 4, 2011 @ 8:04 pm

  56. That would be an interesting examination. I heard an old-time major-leaguer say, in essence, that he has never seen a team with these career numbers look this bad for this long. Wonder if that’s objectively true?

    Comment by rrk — May 5, 2011 @ 12:50 pm

  57. so many commentors are mad at the author. they should be mad at adam dunn for being a piece of sh-t.

    Comment by benjie — May 6, 2011 @ 2:13 pm

  58. Want to rehash this after another month? Still think that he will snap out of it?

    Comment by JD — July 7, 2011 @ 11:38 pm

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