Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Slow reveal for Dunn's new look
By Doug Padilla
Adam Dunn is trying to alter his approach at the plate a bit this spring.
After that plan to change his approach was revealed, it actually looks like more of the same from Adam Dunn after three Cactus League games.
His one home run, one walk and two strikeouts, after five official at-bats, seems to mirror his career production. And his low batting average and high slugging percentage is fairly similar to last season.
When Dunn reported to spring training he announced that things would be different. Instead of getting deep into counts -- a strategy that has defined his career -- he would go on the attack earlier than usual in a strategy that could help reduce his rising strikeout totals.
"I think that's going to be an emphasis this spring is trying to be more aggressive, not get myself too deep into counts," Dunn said on the day position players reported to camp. "It's kind of to give me something to work on this spring instead of being so selective early, especially first pitch."
Since then, Dunn has moved to clarify what he meant, especially with the first pitch.
"I'm not saying I'm going to go up there and swing at the first pitch every time," Dunn said. "I'm not doing that. What I'm saying is that I want to be ready to hit. Instead of being so selective as far as looking for one pitch in one location, just look basically location."
Either way, manager Robin Ventura is open to the change.
"I think again it just gives him a better chance to make contact more often," Ventura said. "I think getting into two-strike counts, it's something that we shouldn't be worried about. But again you are passing over some pitches that you should probably be aggressive with. That's the idea of him being aggressive early or not being so picky on those pitches."
Breaking it down even further, Dunn says he will simply not be locked in on that one perfect pitch.
"A lot of times I'm looking fastball away, and I get a backdoor curveball that I can probably hit but don't swing at," Dunn said. "It's not the pitch I'm looking for but the area."
More of a sample size is going to be needed before determining how much Dunn's approach is changing his game. Last season he became the first player in major league history to have 100 walks and 200 strikeouts in the same season. His 105 walks led the American League as did his 222 strikeouts.
In the end, maybe he ends up going the entire spring without revealing exactly what he plans on doing at the plate this season.
"This is such a long spring," Dunn said. "Kind of like every spring, there might be one day where I want to work on two-strike hitting so I'll take until I get to two strikes and go from there. Or maybe I'll see as many pitches as possible. Whatever the plan is for today, just let it go."