You know Redleg Nation‘s position: no, Adam Dunn should not be traded. In light of yesterday’s enlightened series in the Cincinnati Enquirer, in which they make “The Case for Keeping Adam Dunn,” today’s Cincinnati Post runs this garbage column by Lonnie Wheeler in which he argues that Dunn should be traded.

You read the two articles and decide for yourself which is the better-reasoned argument.

Blame Chad for creating this mess.

Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, “The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds” is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad’s musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine.

You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Join the conversation! 17 Comments

  1. This Wheeler column was the most objective, reasoned and balanced overview of the Dunn situation this entire year.

  2. And the Reds W/L record the past 5 years with Dunn in the lineup is what? Then what does the W/L project to be if Dunn is kept?

  3. Wheeler looks at apples and complains that they are dissimilar to oranges:

    [I]f a strikeout is no different than any other kind of out, why is such a premium placed on relief pitchers who can pile them up?

    One could argue, based on this claim, that the market for relievers is inefficient. However, Adam Dunn is not a relief pitcher.

  4. While I’ll admit that I am not the biggest Adam Dunn fan most of that stems from my perception of feeling that he is not in top physical shape. Otherwise, the numbers don’t lie. He shares some pretty nice company.

  5. [I]f a strikeout is no different than any other kind of out, why is such a premium placed on relief pitchers who can pile them up? –Lonnie Wheeler

    The answer to this question is contained in Voros McCracken’s original finding about batting average on balls in play (BABIP), which is that pitchers cannot control theirs but batters can.

    It’s a non-intuitive conclusion to be sure.

    Since then I think he’s modified that thesis slightly to say that there are some types of pitchers who do influence BABIP, such as knuckleballers. But the basic idea remains a central tenet of current statistical analysis.

  6. DevilsAdvocate, I thought that pitchers can control HRs and SOs, but not balls put into play. BABIP: subtract HR from the total number of hits and subtract HRs and SOs (and SFs) from the total number of ABs. I thought his research found that pitchers couldn’t control balls put in play, but could control HRs, SOs, and BBs, that’s why relievers with high SOs are so valuable.

  7. Sorry, I agree with your point about answering Wheeler’s question, just wasn’t clear about your explanation. Can you help me out?

  8. No, Rosie, you got it exactly. The thesis is that pitchers have control over their K’s and BB’s and HR’s allowed, but not BA on balls in play. Therefore K’s are valuable to pitchers, because the fewer balls-in-play, the fewer hits allowed.

    By contrast, it is said that hitters can wield influence on their own BABIP rates. So with an above-average number of strikeouts, some hitters have the ability to compensate with a higher BABIP.

    Frankly, this has little to do with Dunn, who has an about-average BABIP with some fluctuations above and below. What he does have is a way-above-average ability to make his flyballs turn into homers, with a very consistent HR/flyball ratio in the area of 22-23%. That is big, and in particular the consistency is rare.

  9. This will get it’s own post, but foxsports is reporting that lohse has been traded to the ohillies for AA LHP Matt Maloney.

    Baseball America rates him the Phillies 9th best prospect but their best prospect is the only one who cracks the national top 100, and he’s at #41, so the phillies system doesn’t seem to have a whole lot right now.

    still, lohse had to go, and maybe this guy can be a contender for the rotation in a couple years, or maybe they’ll make him a reliever eventually. can’t really complain.

  10. Beat me, al – Lohse traded!

    Who will pitch tomorrow?

  11. I think Dunn’s ability to turn flyballs into homers is largely a product of the fact he plays at GABP.

  12. Could be right, Kerm, certainly GABP is a homerun factory. But…anecdotally, Dunn tends not to hit them just barely over the fence. And he has 15 homers at home and 12 on the road, not a huge difference. I wonder if the Hit Tracker website (which logs every homerun distance, both actual and adjusted) might shed some more light.

    I hadn’t checked before, but Dunn’s home/away splits this year for batting average, on-base % and slugging % are unreal. Wow. Hero at home, (near) Zero on the road.

  13. Ditch the donkey!

    Kotchman and Wood or Saunders or Santana!

    Do the right thing, Wayne.

  14. Dunn would hit 40+ HR’s no matter where he played.

  15. The Reds need to keep Dunn unless they can get some serious talent for him. Considering his contract situation, I don’t think that will happen.

  16. While Dunn’s career numbers are better at home than on the road, his HR totals are 125 home to 100 on the road.

    Just to compare him to the first “Played his entire life in a HR friendly ballpark” slugger I could think of, Todd Helton’s splits are 180/115 with a far more drastic OPS and OPS+ split than Dunn (Helton’s career road OPS+ is 78 while Dunn’s is 91). Helton actually matches up perfectly with Dante Bichette’s splits (shake in horror at that name, fellow Reds fans).

    It’s also notable that nearly every great player I looked up had more favorable career home numbers than away, though I don’t know how to see the cumulative breakdown on this subject. For example, both Derek Jeter, Barry Larkin, and Tony Gwynn have better OPS+ at home than away by about ten points.

  17. While I’ll admit that I am not the biggest Adam Dunn fan most of that stems from my perception of feeling that he is not in top physical shape. Otherwise, the numbers don’t lie. He shares some pretty nice company.

    In all fairness, his average is lower and his strikeouts higher than everyone on that list. It’s still pretty lofty company, though.

    I’m not a big Adam Dunn fan. I, to some posters chagrin, am much more of a small ball, good defense, field of dreams fan. However, I’m a fan who watches a lot of games and pays attention to a lot of websites, so I think my opinion still has as much merit as those with the stats. With all that being said, we must see the bottom line to all this: We will never get a replacement for the offense we lose if Dunn leaves, nor can we get Santana or Oswalt, which would be the type of pitcher we would need to make up for the production difference. Bottom line: keep him in left and focus on getting a couple of solid .300 veterans (NOT old guys)and develop our guys like Bruce et al to surround donkey in the lineup. Someone like Rowand, for example. I think this is the most cost effective way to strengthen our lineup. Then get us a closer and hopefully you can keep Weathers and put him in his rightful spot as a set up man.

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About Chad Dotson

Blame Chad for creating this mess. Chad launched Redleg Nation in February 2005, and has been writing about the Reds ever since. His first book, "The Big 50: The Men and Moments That Made the Cincinnati Reds" is now available in bookstores and online, at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. You can also find Chad's musings about the Cincinnati Reds in the pages of Cincinnati Magazine. You can email Chad at chaddotson@redlegnation.com.

Category

2007 Reds, Reds - General