On Sunday morning, the Oakland Athletics acquired Adam Dunn from the Chicago White Sox for minor leaguer Nolan Sanburn. On Sunday afternoon, the Athletics saw their scoreless innings streak rise to 29, before finally pushing a run across in the eighth.
Adam Dunn will be in Oakland on Monday for the start of a 3-game series with the Seattle Mariners, who are now closing the gap on Oakland in the wild card race, sitting just 4.5 games back.
Dunn has been brought to Oakland to give the offense a jolt. But can the slugger, who’s hitting just .220 with 20 home runs and gathered 54 RBIs provide that jolt? I say he can.
I can be optimistic to a fault when it comes to my team, but let’s look at this acquisition from a couple of different angles. First off, he will be used in the DH spot against RHP, and presumably Jonny Gomes will fill the void against LHP. Both of those players are an upgrade over Alberto Callaspo, whom the Athletics used in the DH spot over the weekend. Against RHP, Dunn is hitting a slightly better .232 with a .351 OBP (on-base percentage). 18 of his 20 HR and 49 of his 54 RBI are also against righties.
Why focus so much on his OBP? Well, Adam Dunn isn’t the most fleet of foot. Yet on their bench, the Athletics will have Craig Gentry, who is 20 of 21 in stolen base attempts this season, or presumably Billy Burns, who’s swiped 54 bags in the minors. In a tight game, where one run can make the difference, Adam Dunn just getting on base could be that jolt the Athletics need.
Sure, Dunn strikes out in nearly 37% of his at-bats. On the flip side of that, he’s only grounded into 5 double plays. Callaspo has grounded into 18. I’d take a strikeout over a DP any day. The homers will be there, but more importantly he provides a little protection in the lineup for Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, and Derek Norris.
It should also be noted that Adam Dunn had to waive his no trade clause to join the Athletics. Dunn has also announced that he plans to retire at the end of the year. This signals that he wants to win, and that he’ll be focused. He’ll be facing some good pitching down the stretch, but all it takes is one missed location for Dunn to send one into the seats.
Whether or not Adam Dunn does the mashing himself, the effect he will have on the lineup will definitely improve this club down the stretch run.