When are the Reds going to realize what they have in Adam Dunn?

Dunn has been good all season, but has been on fire since the All Star Break.
His numbers have been 487/.871/1.358 (OBP/SLG/OPS).

In July, he’s put up 400/.662/1.062.

His season OPS is again approaching the magic mark of 1.000, presently at .979

His worst month of the season was June when his OPS was .856.

Yet Dunn hasn’t batted #3 one time all season long. He only has 13 at-bats in the #4 spot (less than Pena and less than 1/4th the number that Kearns or Randa has in that spot).

He’s been regulated to the #5 and #6 spots for the vast majority of the season, while lesser hitters like Aurilia, Randa and Sean Casey have been given higher positions in the batting order (giving them more PAs during the game).

Let’s examine the #3 spot.

That spot is reserved for “The Mayor” and his .751 OPS.

Casey’s high water mark this season has been his .920 in May. His next best month has been 712.

I wish I could understand the management of the Reds lack of confidence in Adam Dunn’s skills. They’ve got a 25 year old player who is doing things that haven’t been done on this team since the days of HOFer Frank Robinson and they treat him like he’s Dave Kingman.

About The Author

I've been a Reds fan since the late '60's, with my luck of being able to attend plenty of games at Riverfront during the BRM era. I was sitting in the Green Seats in the OF when Pete came home in '84 and was in the Red seats when Glenn Braggs reached over the fence in '90 to beat the Pirates. I have had many favorites from Jim Maloney to Johnny Bench, Barry Larkin, Adam Dunn, and Jay Bruce.

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9 Responses

  1. orangeandbrown

    It is hard to understand, and harder every day. I check on Yahoo!, and he has the second highest OPS of any OF in the NL, behind Miguel Cabrera. He’s absolutely one of the most valuable players in the NL, and certainly on our club. We’re luck to have him, we should be clinging on to him like grim death.

  2. Brian B.

    I agree Bill. It is downright bizarre that Dunn isn’t hitting 3rd.

    Yet, I have to be honest, sometimes the Reds get guys on base in the middle the order, and I’m pleased that we have someone like Dunn at the plate rather than it being reversed with Dunn on base and Aurilia coming up.

    Maybe we should just dump Aurilia(!).

    I’m kidding of course. There are too many situation with Lopez on base and Aurilia or Casey screwing up when it could be Dunn up terrifying pitchers. And Griffey following.

  3. Jim McCullough

    Aurilla should be dealt soon. He would make a nice bench player for a contender.

    I think it may be time for Casey to rethink his approach at the plate and stop the slap hitting thing.

  4. Blue

    Let me drop this on you:

    The Orioles need to move Sidney Ponson in order to acquire A.J. Burnett. Currently there is a deal in place to send him to the Padres for Phil Nevin. They want Nevin to split time with Rafael Palmeiro at 1B and DH. However, Nevin must wave his no trade clause. If he doesn’t, then wouldn’t Casey be a perfect substitute for Nevin? Both have big contracts, so it would still pretty much be an even trade money-wise.

    So, if you’re Dan O’Brien would you make the deal if it were there? Ponson has been terrible this year, lacks motivation, and is consistently in poor physical condition. But, he is a starting pitcher who can eat a lot of innings at the back of a rotation, and has a lot of potential. If he has a decent season next season and the Reds aren’t contenders, they could trade him and make room for another young guy. Also, of course, this makes room for Dunn, Griffey, Kearns, and Pena to be in the lineup everyday.

    My take? I’d take it if there were no other offers for Casey.

  5. Chris

    The speculation here is that the Padres would flip Ponson almost as soon as they get him. They just feel he’s easier to move than Nevin. Nevin makes $10M next year, plus an option or $2M buyout for ’07. So he’s more expensive (and worse) than Casey.

  6. Michael

    You guys get all caught up in Dunn hype it seems and granted there’s nothing wrong with being excited about a player who you feel is a good one and will get better. HOWEVER, watching Cards game last night I was reminded of what a true top shelf hitter looks like. Pujols was hitting .370+ with RISP and he still puts up huge HR, batting avg., OBP, SLG numbers etc.. etc….

    Despite the things you all like about Dunn, fundamentally he is still just a .250 hitter who hits 40 points less than that with RISP every year and leads league in strikeouts every year.

    He is in fact a Dave Kingman, Gorman Thomas player type but just with more walks. He doesn’t hit 3 or 4 because he doesn’t belong there.

  7. Michael

    And the reason Casey continues to hit 3 is I have to believe they just aren’t letting go of what Casey was last year (a guy who drove the ball AND hit .300 AND wasn’t a double play machine). When Casey is hitting like he did last year he is a legitimate 3 hitter. Did he change cereals? shampoo? Whatever it is that Casey is doing this year or not doing which is different rom last year…I wish he’d figure it out.

  8. DevilsAdvocate

    I don’t think anyone here would argue that Dunn is the best hitter in the league. I hope not. But comparing him to Pujols is a straw-man setup.

    What I (and everyone else arguing with you) have been saying is not that he’s as good as Pujols, because nobody is. Instead, it is that Dunn is significantly underappreciated because his skillset is so poorly understood and utilized. Yes, it’s frustrating to see him take third strikes seemingly down the middle. But if he gets well over 100 walks every year as well, then isn’t that worth quite a lot? Isn’t it meaningful that he scores so many runs despite hitting low in the order?

    Dunn is a huge positive influence in the Reds’ lineup. His struggles in RBI situations are well-documented…so put him higher in the order where he’s less likely to be relied upon that way. Where his on-base skills make him more likely to be driven in. “Problem” solved.

    Agreed on Casey – what in the world happened? Last year he was easily the Reds most valuable player. This year he’s grounding it to second or occasionally flying out to left, with a .300 average’s worth of singles sprinkled in. What happened to all the line-drives to the gaps, and the deep flies pulled over the right-field wall? He belonged in the #3 spot last year, but not in 2005.

  9. Brian

    He is in fact a Dave Kingman, Gorman Thomas player type but just with more walks. He doesn’t hit 3 or 4 because he doesn’t belong there.

    What a laugh… too freaking funny.

    Dave Kingman again?

    Learn some baseball history please.