Big League Stew - MLB

Finally, a stat that proves a major league team really could pull a fan out of the stands and he (or she) would be guaranteed to do no worse than the millionaire who's usually in the batter's box.

Chicago White Sox slugger Adam Dunn(notes) has no hits against left-handed pitching in 3o at-bats this season — or 34 plate appearances if you want to make his performance sound a tad worse.

Checking MLB's un-leader board, nobody with at least 25 plate appearances has been worse than Dunn against lefty pitching. Everyone else in the group has at least one hit against a southpaw, except for Jorge Posada(notes) of the Yankees. He's 0 for 25, with no hits in 31 plate appearances. It is still, however, better than Adam.

Also, Hip Hip Jorge is old and infirm. Dunn is eight years younger and much more robust, or so the White Sox assumed when they signed him to a $56 million, four-year deal in the offseason and stuck him in the middle of their batting order.

As Sahadev Sharma notes at ESPN Chicago, manager Ozzie Guillen says he has no plans to sit the left-handed Dunn against lefties, at least as a recurring move:

"If I'm going to sit him, it'll be to have a [regular] day off," Guillen said. "This guy is a pure, good hitter and is going through a tough time right now."

For his part, Dunn recently said he feels good when facing lefties. Guillen found that a little funny and said he definitely doesn't want to see what happens when Dunn's feeling bad against a lefty.

Gotta love Ozzie with the gallows humor. And though Guillen makes some head-scratching tactical decisions, he's absolutely right to leave Dunn where he is.

Two reasons: One, Dunn probably will hit as Guillen expects. His track record is long enough. Two, the White Sox don't have better alternatives, though they could bring up Dayan Viciedo(notes) from the minors, I suppose. (He's not better than Dunn.) And if Dunn doesn't hit better than .200, the White Sox are doomed to finish no better than fourth.

While Dunn tends to be weaker against lefties for his career, he's inconsistent from season to season. He hit .199/.304/.416 against lefties in 2010, but he's also had seasons where his batting average was better against lefties than righties. The 2009 season, for example. Go figure.

It's encouraging that Dunn hasn't been totally lost hitting against right-handers (.241/.360/.438), though he does share the league's overall lead in strikeouts with Detroit's Austin Jackson(notes). But he was striking out a lot when he was producing runs, so that's not it.

Out of curiosity, I also checked to see who with at least 25 plate appearances against righties has no hits: Nobody, though Cleveland's Lou Marson(notes) is 1 for 25. Another guy not expected to hit like Adam Dunn — at least not when Dunn is actually producing.

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