Early in Adam Dunn's first year with the Sox, I was at the Cell when Dunn grounded a double play ball to second. While trotting to first he was blowing bubbles rather than hustling to beat the double play. He doesn't seem to realize there are many ways to help his team. -- Spencer, Valparaiso, Ind.
Remembering his calamitous 2011, how long are the White Sox going to tolerate Adam Dunn? If he's batting around .100 come mid-to-late May, will they have the wherewithal to finally give him his money and tell him to get lost if he doesn't accept a minor league assignment? He makes an already bad team utterly miserable to watch, and has been an empty roster spot the majority of his time in Chicago. -- Ben, Aurora
This is the last straw with Dunn. His few home runs mean nothing. What good is a guy who cannot get on bases, cannot move runners along but just strikes out half the time? He is not really a baseball player, but a 16’’ home run ballplayer trying to masquerade in the major leagues. Time to get rid of him and get a guy who can hit .285-.290, hit 20-25 home runs a year, hit 35-40 doubles and have an on-base percentage of at least .360 and strike out only 40-50 times a year. Besides, Dunn is a very slow animal, just a big mistake. Bring back A.J! -- Hermand the Frog, Chicago
On Dunn, so many times i hear of veteran athletes reviving themselves with an intense offseason workout (running, weights, diet, use a personal trainer). They come back stronger, leaner, quicker (including bat speed) . They're a new person, and they show a dramatic jump in their game. Why doesn’t Dunn do that? It must be that he's just plain lazy and more interested in appearing in a movie as a bartender then getting in great shape. This guy is killing the Sox. Even last year, how can a guy win comeback player of the year with a .204 average? That's pathetic. He should give the Sox a refund. -- George,
In your article on April 24, you commented that if Adam Dunn goes 13 for 35 his average will be raised to .200. This would mean that Dunn would have to hit at a .371 clip. Mark, this is never going to happen. Dunn has never hit at that clip in his career. You must be drinking the Kool-Aid again. -- Dennis Panozzo, Tinley Park
I covered a guy for seven years (and two additional years in high school) who blew a lot of bubbles while running the bases but his habit was overlooked because he hit a lot of home runs and could run very well. His name was Barry Lamar Bonds.
I understand that it doesn’t look good when someone is blowing bubbles while running to first base on a double play. But let’s face it. Adam Dunn isn’t a speedster, and he’s now approaching Bengie Molina-Paul Konerko territory.
The Sox owe Dunn $15 million in 2014, and I don’t see them eating the money the way Detroit ate about $14 million of Damion Easley’s salary, or Arizona and the $22 million they swallowed on Russ Ortiz.
They could eventually move him, but only to a team that would insist the Sox pay a portion of his salary and that Dunn would consent to a trade.
Dunn did work out this winter, but he had extra duties because his wife was expecting. It’s no excuse, as I’m sure there are other professionals who juggle being a productive worker, responsible parent and attentive spouse. I’m not a training expert, but I’d say he looked better than he did during the spring of 2011 but not as firm as the spring of 2012.
Since April 24, Adam is 5-for-21 and has raised his batting average by 43 points. Not spectacular, but it’s a start. Dennis, I’ll settle for an Arnold Palmer sans the sugar.
I have a number of roster questions. I know each team has a 25-man roster but what is the significance of the 40-man roster? Do you have to be on the 40-man to be called up to the bigs? What protected status do all the other minor leaguers not on the 40-man have? Finally, what is an option? How many does each player have? Do you only accumulate one option a year? I understand Septimo is out of options but is on the DL. What happens to him when he gets off the DL? -- Ron, Tinley Park
In one aspect, the 40-man roster protects players from rotting in the minors. If a player has at least four years of professional experience (as a four-year or two-year college drafted player or five years after being signed out of high school), they’re eligible to be protected on the 40-man roster.
Those players with that professional experience but who aren’t placed on the 40-man roster are eligible for the Rule 5 draft, in which other teams can select them in December for $50,000.
A minor league player can become a six-year free agent if the organization he plays for doesn’t put him on the 40-man roster.
An option refers to a player on the 40-man roster who is sent to the minors. A player can be optioned to the minors more than once in a season, but it counts as only one option for that season.
Septimo recently was placed on the 60-day DL, which means he is off the 40-man roster but remains property of the Sox. His transfer from the 15-day disabled list opened a spot for Casper Wells.
If the Sox do not make the post-season do you think we have a good chance of trading some of our core players to restock our farm system? -- Henry M., Des Plaines
I’ve been advocating since the end of the 2007 season that the Sox needed to go much younger than they’ve finally showed signs of doing after 2011. Keeping the team intact enabled them to win the 2008 American League Central title.
There are plenty of high-profile players who could be dealt if the Sox aren’t contenders. We haven’t reached this point yet, but it’s something I addressed in a pre-season story.
It’s going to be an interesting draft from the standpoint of what direction the Sox turn with their first pick (17th overall). It’s early, but I’m going to guess that it’s going to be a fast-track college pitcher if he’s available.
Hopefully, Rick Hahn will not take the fall for Kenny Williams’ players. Last year, Thornton lost nine games and this year he's already cost a couple of games. Why is he still on the team? Finally, is management doing anything to build morale on the team. -- Fred Burstine,
Thornton lost 10 games last season. However, Donnie Veal is struggling with his control, so it might not be a wise move right now to trade Thornton, especially with the likelihood Hector Santiago stays in the rotation while Floyd is on the 15-day disabled list.
There are subtle developments that the team does during the course of a season, such as Adam Dunn paying for dinner at a steakhouse in Toronto, and Art Kusnyer on selected trips as Robin Ventura’s “mental health” coach. But winning often takes care of morale.
Is it possible that the White Sox can find another left-handed hitting center fielder to go with De Aza, Wise, Danks and Tekotte? I don't see where four of five outfielders that are basically the same player gives Robin much flexibility. I know Lillibridge has not hit well this year or last, but he has to be a better option than Tekotte, and I'm sure the Cubs would give him up. -- Bob Hugus, Westville
Lillibridge’s ship has sailed with this organization, and it’s best for him to play elsewhere as well as allow the Sox to examine other options.
Jared Mitchell would have been the ideal answer had he not gotten off to a miserable start at Triple-A Charlotte (and subsequently demoted to Double-A Birmingham, where he’s on the DL).
We're a month into the season and I'm ready to say the Tyler Flowers experiment has failed. Tyler is hitting .171 right now, compared to A.J. hitting .295. This is what happens when you give the job to someone without them earning it. I'm not impressed, either, with his defense. He has trouble catching and blocking, let alone throwing out runners. A.J. signed for about 7.5 million for one year. The way the Sox waste money, they could have easily kept A.J. for this year, if not next.
Our GMs have made many mistakes over the years, and I wish they were replaced. -- Bob Sagen, Fort Mohave, Ariz.
Just think if the chairman hadn’t stepped in and negotiated a deal with A.J. before the 2011 season. You likely would have had Miguel Olivo behind the plate. I did think that Flowers would throw out more than one potential base stealer at this point, although he could use more help from the pitchers.
The Sox’s problems run deeper than Flowers’ struggles at and behind the plate. The Sox committed less than $1.1 million to their catching, so they believed the money they saved by not re-signing A.J. was spent better elsewhere. Josh Phegley has shown signs of some promise at Triple-A Charlotte, so I’m curious to see how his development plays out. Michael Blanke and Kevan Smith also have shown promise, but they’re not that young.