From the Advocate Messenger:

Some tidbits…

What about outfielder Adam Dunn (40 home runs, 92 runs-batted in in 2006)? Could he be the key?

Brennaman: “I am pretty close to giving up on Adam Dunn. I don’t know if he is capable of changing his approach to the plate, based on what the count is, and can be happy with shortening his swing, hitting the ball the other way and showing a measure of discipline. I am at the point where I don’t know if it can happen. He is a guy who drove in five runs in the month of September last year and didn’t even get to 100 runs batted-in.

“People constantly ask if the club is trying to trade him. I think this team waited one year too long to try and trade him. If they had traded him after 2005, they would have got something good. I don’t think there was a team in baseball that had any interest in him after last year.

“He is going to make $10 million this year. I get tired of people saying he hits 40 home runs and drives in 100 runs. Wonderful. This is a guy who should hit 50 plus home runs and should drive in 130 runs or more every single year. And he can’t do it because he leads the world in strikeouts. I think he was overweight last year. He walks to his position. He walks off the field. You see no energy whatsoever and that disappoints the heck out of me.”

Yep, Dunn is easy to scapegoat for September, but look at some other’s numbers from the second half of the season, he sure wasn’t alone in stinkin’ the place up.

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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49 Responses

  1. Michael

    I think Marty is right on about Dunn. I was hoping for Dunn to be traded after the 2004 season when he struck out nearly 200 times – his value was still at its peak then because he hit 46 homers that year. Not sure why there are so many Dunn apologists.
    Yes, I know he has a very high OPS – as the apologists often proclaim. All I know is the guy is a lazy, clumsy oaf in the outfield, rarely seems like he comes through in the clutch, and shows little to no sign of adjusting at the plate.
    Hopefully he rebounds some this year so we can ship him out at the trade deadline.

  2. iMonk

    The truth hurts doesn’t it people? Walking off the field doesn’t show up in your fantasy game, but it sure as hell shows up in your clubhouse. Trade him please.

  3. Chris

    Why is it “the truth”? Because Marty says it? The man isn’t infallible.

    I understand Marty, and everyone else’s disappointment with Dunn’s 2006 season. What I don’t understand is pretending that he’s a bad player, or the argument that he’d be more productive by slapping singles to left field like he’s Hal Frickin’ Morris or something.

    And I have no reason to believe iMonk’s claim that Dunn’s alleged walking on and off the field hurts the clubhouse (simply not true, if you watch ballgames – no major leaguer walks in from the outfield). Does Ryan Freel’s running around help the clubhouse in some way?

    In my personal opinion, we should judge a player based on how he performs, not on how he looks, or the expression on his face while he’s performing. There are fair and abundant criticisms to be made of Adam Dunn’s performance. But you lose me when you start talking about his posture, without connecting that to his performance.

  4. Chris

    Post All-Star Break Stats for Reds regulars:

    Aurilia: .332 .378 .547 925 OPS
    Encar: .282 .357 .472 829
    Ross: .203 .325 .484 809
    Dunn: .229 .360 .416 777
    Jr: .249 .332 .432 764
    Hatteberg:.268 .363 .380 744
    Phillips: .243 .287 .416 702
    Freel: .238 .340 .350 690
    Denorfia: .265 .339 .337 676
    Clayton: .235 .290 .329 619

    Pretty interesting stuff. Some quick conclusions:

    1. Dunn certainly wildly underperformed.

    2. But the (hustling) Freel was a bigger sinkhole. He was just terrible.

    3. Phillips is the guy I’m really concerned about. His 2nd half numbers were terrible, but it really boils down to a roller-coaster year (monthly OPS: 969, 676, 871, 564, 981, 457). In any event, a 700 OPS isn’t going to get it done for this team.

    4. Nor will a 744 out of the first base spot.

    5. The team’s three worst hitters after the all-star break (Freel, Denorfia, Clayton) were the three guys whose playing time increased as a result of the Kearns trade. It’s not the sole cause of the offensive collapse, but it sure looks like it from the surface.

    5. Aurilia really carried this team in the second half.

    6. And to end on an optimistic note, Encarnacion has done nothing but hit. I’d love to see him kick up that OBP and SLG by 25 points each.

  5. al

    i thought the article from last year about accepting dunn was a good one. It seems like if he’s not the MVP he sucks to some people.

    To marty’s criticism: JD Drew is going to be paid 70 mil over 5 years, so marty saying that because dunn gets 10mil he should be hitting 50/130 is just stupid. prices have gone up and marty is old and can’t adjust.

    i also agree with chris that neither marty or most people on this board know what it’s like to play a full season of major league baseball, and Dunn does. He plays every game, and he plays hurt if he has to. So if being relaxed is what gets him through, who are we to say he should do it differently.

    I hope Dunn gets better, and i think he will. But he’s not what’s killing this team. He’s not an MVP, but he’s good.

  6. Michael

    The Reds don’t have the budget to pay $10 milion dollars a year for a “good” player (in other words, Dunn is receiving 15% of their budget).

    The two extremes in any analysis are technical(stats in baseball’s case) and instinct/common sense. Dunn’s OPS may reflect well on him technically, but common sense strongly dictates that Dunn just is not someone you make a cornerstone of your team if you want to win (which you are inherently doing when you are spending 15% of your budget).

    I highly doubt Marty has any agenda to bash Dunn just for the sake of scapegoating him. Marty has seen nearly every Reds game for over 30 years (including many spring training games and practices). I think Marty has earned some credibilty.

    Perhaps with teams like the Yankees, where $10 million is less than 5% of their budget, Dunn is worth the risk. But the Reds have a very low margin for error – each dollar must be accounted for wisely.

    Bottom line, Dunn is 15% of the budget (as a $10 million “bargain rate” at that) and I have little confidence in him producing in the clutch.

  7. iMonk

    I’ve heard Marty preach this sermon enough that it’s safe to say that his main gripe is Dunn’s situational hitting weakness. I have long thought that Dunn was out of shape, worse than average on defense- actually cripplingly bad at times- and completely without the intangible quality of a fierce competitor, which Aurilla did have and is VERY rare on recent Reds teams.

    Look at the temperament of recent Reds teams. Them look at Dunn. Hello?

  8. Bill

    Michael…I’ve been listening to Marty since 1971 (or ’72, whenever he got here), if you don’t think he picks players to grind on, you don’t listen much. He has his favorites who can do no wrong, and the “others”.

    As for Dunn not hitting in the clutch…I took a quick look at ’06, even with his horrendous September…

    With runners in scoring position:

    136 AB .221/.394/.529/.924

    Best of all the regulars on the team. Of the people above him, the most ABs was 25.

    Scoring posititon with 2 outs?

    65AB .246/.410/.554/.963

    Again, best among regulars. Most ABs above him was 13.

    In ’05, with runners in scoring position.

    129AB .248/.468/.574/1.041

    Again, best on the team.

    2 outs, runners in scoring position

    52AB .231/.512/.481/.993

    2nd behind Junior.

    How exactly do you define clutch? Seems like he does pretty well in “clutch” situations to me.

    It’s amazing to me that Marty wants to complain that 40 homers isn’t enough. He’s 27 years old, he’s hit over 40 three times, he’s walked over 100 times 4 times, he has 2 of the top 10 XBH seasons in franchise history (only other player with 2 is Frank Robinson), he’s 7th in HRs in franchise history.

    This franchise has had one guy in its long and storied history hit over 50, yet Marty’s saying, “he should be hitting 50 every year”. That’s idiotic.

    No matter what Dunn does, it’s never enough. Even after his great 2004, people complained about his strikeouts. Even last year, when he was terrible in September, he still finished with an OPS+ of 110. His career OPS is over 100 points above league average.

    Dunn doesn’t need to back up for his paycheck….he isn’t perfect, but he’s a damn good player.

  9. Chris

    Interesting thoughts, guys. A few points in response:

    – I don’t think “common sense” is the same as “ignoring evidence that contradicts my gut feeling.” Maybe Michael’s correct that you don’t want to build around Dunn, but I’d have to see some reasons why – something more than “it’s common sense.”

    – Marty has seen a lot of games, etc., and his opinions are worth listening to. BUT BUT BUT, he’s also one of the mose irascable, stubborn, and prejudiced guys I’ve ever come across (I don’t mean that in a racial sense, but in the sense that once he makes up his mind about a person or issue, he won’t let it go, let alone consider the other side). He’s also made his reputation (and small fortune) by being provocative and offering strong opinions, and “I’m giving up on Adam Dunn” makes much better copy than “Royce Clayton sure sucked it up, didn’t he.” The first statement is news; the second is “duh,” even if much more accurate.

    – As I said above, I personally think chemistry, demeanor, temperment, etc. are wildly overrated. People work, and work together, in a lot of different ways. There are “rah rah” guys, “quiet leaders,” laid-back players, jokers, etc. All have been good; and all have been bad. Despite what the Tim McCarver’s of the world tell us, it’s pretty rare that you see a team full of good (healthy) players lose; or a team of bad players win because they had the right attitude.

    – I agree that Adam Dunn should be contributing more, even though $10M looks a lot more like an average salary than it did 4 months ago. I agree that his defense his horrible, and that it appears that he’s not working as hard as he can to fix that, and possibly that he was out of shape (these are areas where I’d give much more weight to Marty’s reporting, since he’s there every day). What I don’t agree with are the blanket statements that “Dunn sucks,” or that you should “give up” on him, or that he’s not an effective hitter because he pulls the ball and strikes out a lot. Those arguments are just not true, and seem born more out of frustration than rational thought.

  10. David

    Chris, I have to agree that intangibles matter WAY more than you are suggesting. I knew that you were a stats first guy but I didn’t think that you were a stats only guy.

    Second, I think Al said this, from my reading of the article, Marty wasn’t saying that Dunn should hit 50/130 because he gets $10 mil. He was saying if he approached his hitting with a bit more discipline he could be that player.

    The guy has shown no ability to increase his avg. No matter what the situation. He’s a hacker. Grab some walks, grab some HRs. That might be ok with people, but that’s what you’ve got. I think that is what most have a problem with. Well, and that he can’t run down a fly ball to save his life.

  11. al

    the quote just has marty saying, “he’s going to make 10 mil this year,” and leaving it at that, for us to interpret.

    And just to address the issue of Dunn’s price again, The top 13 free agent hitters of this offseason will get an average of 10 mil in 2007 (ranging from huff at 6.5 to Soriano at 17). About what Dunn is getting.

    Over the last 6 years (Dunn’s whole career) those 13 players have averaged 501 RC. Dunn has a total of 542 RC in that span.

    He is also younger than all of them. The only players in this group who have more RC over that span than Dunn are Moises Alou, Soriano, Carlos Lee, and Jim Edmonds. Edmonds is getting 9.5 and is old and a major health risk, and Alou is 40 and getting 8.5.

    With his track record and age Dunn would have commanded well more than 10 mil on the open market. Without a doubt.

    So who says he shouldn’t get 15% of the team salary? You want it to be divided evenly? That would be an amazing team, let me tell you. The reds are going to have 14 players making 2mil or less, for around a mil a piece. They have the money to pay for him, and they’re paying him less than he would be getting on the open market. Just how much more can we ask for?

    You think he’s lazy, fine. You don’t like him, fine. But one bad season (for him) doesn’t erase the fact that the reds have a very good hitter signed at a below market price that they can afford.

    Or how about this. Imagine that adam dunn had gone to free agency this year, so the reds would have had no left fielder and an extra 10 mil to spend. Who would you have wanted?

  12. Chris

    Here’s the thing: The statistics are nothing more than a great big pile of first-hand reports of what happened in a baseball game (“Freel just got a hit….Hatteberg hit into a double-play”). The numbers don’t care why it happened, but they do tell you what happened, which is all that really matters, at the end (“did we win or lose?”).

    You say that “intangibles,” whatever that means, are very important to baseball success. Fine. Let’s accept that premise. If they’re important to succes, then they will show up in the stats. Everything that matters is, by definition, incorpoated in a look at the end results. Intangibles, along with other things that matter, like coordination, strength, eyesight, running speed, etc., etc. If it really makes a difference in how a player performs, it is, by definition, included in the statistics.

    There are definitely some things that don’t show up in individual statistics, but which play some factor in team success (wins and losses). Baseunning is the biggest one I can think of. “Getting the runner over” is often discussed. But even these things, which exist and play at least some role, are pretty insignificant in the grand scheme.

    So, to a very great degree, at least when it comes to evaluating major league players, I am, as you say, almost entirely a “stats only” guy

    (How I play, watch and enjoy the game is quite different — I love, and emulated guys like Freel and Rose — I just do so with the understanding that they’re inferior players to Dunn or Mays. I also rely less on statistics (at least “big picture” stats) when I’m trying to project future performance of a minor leaguer or amateur. There, I’m much more inclined to look at scouting reports, or to trust my own eyes.

  13. Bill

    Can anyone ever remember another player that draws such wildly diverse opinions from Reds fans about a Reds player?

    The only one I can think of that might compare was Eric Davis, in his first hitch with the Reds, great player, couldn’t stay healthy…and there was the split, can you be a great player if you don’t stay healthy?

    With Dunn, can you be a great player if you strike out so many times per season and are below average defensively.

    Davis is the only comparison I can think of. Others?

  14. Joshua

    I said it last year & I’ll say it again, “Dunn’s attitude is not good for himself or the team.” I used to be an Adam Dunn fan, but it’s like he’s just showing up for a check now. Marty’s not the only one with that opinion, a lot of people think he’s just doing what he needs to in order to get by. The problem is when he slumps they don’t sit him. Maybe if he was held accountable for his actions he may start trying…

  15. Glenn

    I think you have to at least look at Marty’s opinions on Dunn an assess their validity. Some seem to just say that Marty’s old and hardheaded and he just doesn’t like Dunn.
    I think he makes a valid point that Dunn just seems to have refused to even entertain a change in his approach to hitting. If anyone is hardheaded, I think it may start with Dunn.
    Honestly, I’m begining to have concerns that Dunn will go down as a modern day Dave Kingman. That would be a tragedy because Dunn has much more talent than Kingman ever hoped to have. The thing is that, in my humble opinion, Dunn could hit for higher average and could cut down on his strikeouts, it just doesn’t seem to be high on his list of priorities. It would be interesting to have an unguarded conversation with Chris Chambliss and see what his opinion was on this. He seems to have paid the price for the Reds second half offensive collapse.

  16. Glenn

    BTW, I read further. I’d have to say that Marty is dead on in his assessment of Eric Milton and Kyle Loshe.

  17. Bryan

    I like Adam Dunn. But at the same time part of me knows he’s never going to cut down on the K’s and be a great run producer. He’s great to have around for BP and to watch hit long homers..but other than that he doesn’t accomplish much.

  18. greg

    So what does Marty REALLY think about Dunn?

    Hmm?

  19. Chris

    I stop reading every time I read the name “Dave Kingman” in a conversation about Adam Dunn. I’ve debunked that one more than I’ve brushed my teeth (which says something…).

    And “other than hitting long homers, he doesn’t accomplish much.” Dunn’s career OBP is .380, which ranks #22 among all active players. Just ahead of Mike Piazza, Ichiro, Griffey, and David Ortiz. That’s very valuable, even without the .513 SLG (24th).

    As for Marty, I’d give his opinion of Adam Dunn more weight if he didn’t spend an entire season harping on Dunn’s lack of sacrifice flies, an irrelevant, trivial, and silly story line.

    All this hyperbole (“Dunn is Kingman”; “Dunn is a sideshow freak”) ends up closing my ears to possibly legitimate criticism of Dunn.

  20. Michael

    I think the debate hinges on whether you base your views on technical, statistical analysis (pro-Dunn) or on intangibles (anti-Dunn).

    Marty bases bis opinions on intangibles, which is fine. Both analysis styles are right at times (intangibles, see Jack McKeon; stats, see Billy Bean)

  21. Chris

    I’m reading the full article now. Here’s what bugs me about Marty’s viewpoint:

    I get tired of people saying he hits 40 home runs and drives in 100 runs. Wonderful. This is a guy who should hit 50 plus home runs and should drive in 130 runs or more every single year.

    That’s a goofy attitude. It’s frustration blocking logic. First, he’s completely disregarding very real, very rare value (40+ HR per year), simply because in Marty’s view, the player is capable of more. Second, he’s holding Dunn to an impossible standard. You know who’s averaged 50 HR/130 RBI per season? Nobody. Ever. Maybe Sosa, McGwire and Bonds during a very suspect timeframe. I also find it odd that Marty says Dunn doesn’t “show a measure of discipline.” The guy walks over 100 times per year.

  22. Chris

    I do agree with his analysis of Lohse, Milton, and the Brewers. They’re my sleeper pick of the season, for whatever that’s worth.

  23. Michael

    I’m not quite ready to give up on Lohse. Many pitchers don’t have break out years until their late 20’s. I’d like to see what he can do pitching a full season in the National League and going through spring training with a new team (the Reds) for the first time in his career. Sometimes a change of scenery and philosophy (new pitching coach Dick Pole) can do wonders.

    Regarding Milton – as Dennis Green would say, Milton is who we thought he is…

  24. Michael

    in other words – Milton will have around a 5.00 era and will be a league leader in homers allowed

  25. GodlyCynic

    Taken from a recent article on firejoemorgan.com:

    The nine hitters with the lowest ABs/K:

    Pierre
    Garciaparra
    Polanco
    Lo Duca
    Eckstein
    T. Walker
    Vizquel
    F. Sanchez
    Lofton

    The top 9 with the highest:

    Dunn
    Howard
    Granderson
    Hall
    Soriano
    Bay
    Sexson
    Sizemore
    Swisher

    Can we stop saying that strikeouts are an offensive killer now?

    I won’t even go into the whole RBIs are not, out of context, a valid statistic for measuring a player’s productivity as it relies mostly on the players in front of him.

  26. Bill

    Chris…on the Marty/SF issue…wonder why he doesn’t get on Ryan Freel? He hasn’t had a SF since 2003!

  27. Tom

    Screw the Freel sac fly issue. Why doesn’t he have the intangibles and desire to get his skinny butt into the wait room, bulk up, and increase his strength so he can hit for power also. I guess he won’t work with the batting coach either to become a complete ballplayer. If he’d change his game he could surely hit 50 HRs and 130 RBIs also.

  28. Ken

    (intangibles, see Jack McKeon; stats, see Billy Bean)

    I think you meant Billy Beane. Billy Bean, without the extra “e”, is known for something else (not that there’s anything wrong with it). Though I wonder how many times Beane has been confused for the other.

  29. Glenn

    Chris,
    You ran off with my Kingman comment and took it to a level for which it was never intended. I in no way, think that Dunn is a “sideshow freak”.
    My point was that after a dreadful second half last year, Dunn needs to change his approach to hitting or else the bleeding’s going to continue. National league pitching found a way to get him out and he did not adjust to it.
    During the second part of last season, there were times that Dunn looked lost at the plate. I made a point to mention that Dunn has more talent than Kingman ever hoped to have. Talent’s great but you have to find a way to apply it. I guess it could be augued that Kingman made use of all the talent he had. I don’t think that Dunn has even scratched the surface of what he has to offer.
    However, if the strikeouts continue at this level, the Kingman comparisons are going to increase not decrease, and that will be a shame.

  30. Doug

    GodlyCynic, I am not as quick as you are to dismiss Dunn’s lagging RBI total to a lack of situations with men on base. I believe Dunn’s lagging RBI total is a function of him batting .221 with RISP.

    I think we’re always going to have a love/hate relationship with Dunn. Dunn is what he is and he’s not going to change. I can definatly see why people love him and I can understand why other don’t.

    Personally, he drives me nuts.

    I can’t stand his strikeouts. I can’t stand that he won’t leg out the few ground balls he hits. I hate that he’ll never hustle to pick up an extra base. I don’t like his seemingly lackadaisical approach to his craft.

    I think the major issue that really irks the Dunn haters (for lack of a better term, I don’t hate Dunn, he just frustrates the living crap out of me sometimes) is that Dunn has the ability and potential to go down as one of the all-time great sluggers. I’m happy with his 40 bombs a year. His walks are very valuable. But Dunn has the ability to do MUCH more. Marty was right on when he said that Dunn should be driving in 130 runs a year. And he definatly could do that, but he doesn’t seem to wish to put in the extra work to become that player.

    What I’m trying to say is that Dunn is kind of a “good enough” hitter right now while he has to ability to be a outstanding one. That’s the problem I have with Dunn.

  31. al

    though i really do value having marty as an announcer, i’m going to go ahead and disagree with him on Milton too. Is it just me, or did anyone else notice that last year’s Eric Milton and the previous year’s Milton were totally different?

    Besides more than a run difference in ERA and 100 pts of OpOPS, 2005 Milton was incredibly consistant – and terrible. On the other hand 2006 Milton was mostly very good with a few terrible starts, just before and after his time on the DL.

    Mary is so quick to toss off that he hasn’t seen anything in the last two years to suggest that Milton could be better than last year, and to me that hurts his credibility as an analyst, because you’d have to be blind not to see the marked improvement between those two years.

    Is Milton going to be an ace? probably not, but could he be a respectable 3-4, i think so.

  32. Chris

    I can see your point, Doug, and definitely agree with you. I look at Dunn ranking in the top 25 of active hitters, and am happy; but also remember 3 years ago when we thought he’d rank with Pujols, at the very top. I don’t agree with the comment about running hard on the bases – I think that’s just what it looks like when a 6’6″ guy runs. Strawberry drew the same criticism. Baserunning is the one area where Dunn has actually improved since making the majors.

    Milton infuriates me to no end, but I agree with Al – his 2006 was a little better than 2005. At least there were signs of mediocrity last year.

    Glenn, I didn’t mean to mis-state your Kingman comment. In fact, I didn’t read them. I meant my last statement literally – I’ve stopped reading arguments that mention Kingman and Dunn. I’ve had that argument 50 times and my eyes just glaze over. Apologies if your comment was something new.

  33. David

    Dunn’s character, work ethic, etc. won’t show up in the box score. Nor is a box score intended to record such things. A box score will tell you if someone got a hit, but won’t tell you that the defender got a terrible jump on the ball. A box score will tell you that a player got a hit, but it won’t tell you that the player walked to first because he thought it was a HR only to have the wind hit it off the wall. Box score doesn’t show a trade of a player or an argument in the club house which brings down everyone’s performance for a day or two as a result. Nor, will it show when one good play was the turning point in the game. An out is an out. A hit is a hit. There are 1000 different ways that box scores fail to show the overall game. Simply relying on stats alone when judging any player, let alone Dunn, won’t give you the whole picture.

    By the way, Dunn’s value of $10 mil may be a great bargain. But don’t think that doesn’t affect a player either. Dunn knows he won’t be a Red next year. He knows he is inline for a raise somewhere. Dunn knows he may be in trade rumors all spring. That could have a huge impact on his approach this season – good or bad.

  34. Bill

    I find it curious that so many seem to feel safe enough in their views to state that they can say what Dunn’s character, work ethic, etc are and that he “won’t adjust his swing”, etc. I don’t remember ever seeing one statement from a teammate or management complaining about his character or work ethic. And he plays EVERY DAY….3 of the last 4 years, he’s played 158 games or more. That’s not work ethic?

    In addition, isn’t it also possible that by attempting to do the things that so many advocate (cutting down on his swing, going to left field, etc), he would diminish from what he does well?

  35. Bryan

    I’m pretty sure no one here hates Dunn. Walks are nice, but if he’s not going to improve his batting average to say… .260 or so I’m not all that thrilled with his performance.

  36. Daedalus

    Milton and Lohse are both in contract years. They’ll step it up a notch.

    Maybe last year was a kick in the ass for Dunn. We’ll see. He’s not too old to suddenly blossom. All it takes is a willingness to do so. Here’s another strange thought, unconventional and maybe a stretch, but the guy played with Austin Kearns since day one of pro ball. Maybe there was something mental with him after the trade???

  37. Bill

    Bryan, explain to me why we should care about his batting average?

    IMO, any stat where a single and a home run count for the same amount is pretty worthless.

  38. Doug

    I think there’s definatly something to that, Daedalus. Kearns and Dunn were roomates all through the minor leagues and were best friends. I remember reading in the paper how distraught Dunn was after he was traded.

  39. CG Hudson

    Regarding Marty’s credibility, forget Dunn; where in the world does he come up with this junk(in response to a question about how the team has improved): “They signed Jeff Conine and even though he is 40 years old, I still think he has a few good years left at first base or the outfield. He has a young body and has been relatively injury free. He can still hit. I think he will really help this team”

    Of all of the statistics you look at on Jeff’s Baseball-Reference.com page and use to prove how utterly mediocre-to-poor he has been of late, perhaps the most telling is the section leaderboard appearances. The only leaderboards on which Mr. Marlin has appeared on in years that begin with two and a zero are SAC FLIES (1st in AL in ’03!) and OLDEST PLAYER (8th oldest in AL last year).

    (SIDEBAR: the fact that a player can lead a league in sacrifice flies with TWELVE is proof enough as to how silly it is to harp on such things.)

  40. preach

    i.e. sac flies: While I agree that it is a silly point to harp on someone regarding their low number of sac flies, I think that it is still a certain skill that is important. It’s like bunting to me, and serves pretty much the same purpose, except far more runs are generated from the sac fly. I can’t help but think how twelve more sac flies might have made a difference last season. Please understand, that is not a slam on the Dunner; but the beauty for me of watching a game is seeing the ‘little things’ work: like “positive outs” involving moving runners over. I prefer watching a good station-to-station ballgame much more than a homerfest as a rule. I guess that is why I have always preferred the strategy of the Senior Circuit as opposed to the AL game. I agree that laying into Dunn for lack of sac flys is silly, but not crediting those who do those things well is not great either. While I know Conine is no savior, I am encouraged by the fact that we will have someone in the lineup who is known for having that ability. All the OBP in the world means nothing without someone moving you over and getting you in. If Conine is in the shape that folks claim, he may very well prove an important addition.

  41. GodlyCynic

    Doug,

    I wasn’t accusing anyone here of giving RBIs a greater meaning, it’s just that when Marty screams “More RBIs!” without providing any context to his argument, it just sounds silly.

    By the way, is there an OPS with RISP stat or men on base?

  42. Chris

    Yes, there are. And Dunn, the guy who chokes in pressure situations, has an exceptional OPS in nearly every situation that could be described as “pressure.” I think Bill cited them, above somewhere.

  43. Joe

    I think the intersting thing about Dunn and sac flies is this: During the infamous SF-less streak, I never saw a stat (and i haven’t really looked) that says how many times Dunn had a runner on third, less than 2 outs, and hit a HR. You don’t get a sac fly if you accidentally hit it out. You get a 2 run HR. I never heard a single “analyst” make that point even though they discussed his lack of sac flies ad nauseum.

  44. Dan

    Here are Dunn’s splits for his career. (The baseball-reference site has added a ton of detail recently!)

    Dunn’s numbers look fine to me in “pressure situations.”

    The only places I see his performance dipping are:
    –He’s been worse with 2 outs.
    –He’s been worse in August and Sept.

    Does he just wear out late in the season? Is he playing too much?

    By the way, his walk rate changes a lot based on how many outs there are.
    –BB in 11.9% of PA w/ 0 outs
    –BB in 17.8% of PA w/ 1 out
    –BB in 20.0% of PA w/ 2 outs

    I wonder if that’s more of a change in Dunn’s approach, or the pitcher’s approach?

    His walk rate is lower still when leading off the inning (8.8%).

    Maybe all hitters’ walk rates vary based on # of outs like this?

  45. Glenn

    Chris,
    No problem. I think we both are Dunn fans. I’m just a tad concerned that he’s not going to put in the work it takes to become the great player he can certainly be. I don’t personally know Dunn so I’m just going to chalk it up to a gut feeling and hope its just indigestion.

  46. Bryan

    I like Dunn but I don’t think he’s that great of a pure hitter. Great power, when he’s hot teams pitch around him so he racks up the walks. Is that valuable? Sure it is, is it as valuable as a guy who hits say .300 with a comparable OBP? No, not in my opinion. And when he’s cold he’s downright atrocious. There’s almost no chance he’s getting that runner home from 3rd base with one out, and you can say oh well he can walk and move runners over…well he’s making 10 million dollars I want him producing runs to win ball games not leaving the work for someone else. Just my two cents.

  47. Tom

    I agree that Dunn knows this is his last year with the Reds. If he gets off to a good start, he could be traded by May or certainly by July 31st., and be in line for one of those super contracts. Hopefully Wayne will get a good return for Dunn in a blockbuster trade.

  48. Shawn

    Dan (#44), that’s a great link. I think the most telling thing is that the margin which Dunn does poorest, is when the margin of the game is 4 runs or more. Kind of puts the kibosh on “Dunn isn’t clutch,” the flip side of which is he hits in blowouts. Obviously from the data, not true.