Dunn Feeling Down
Chuck Garfien of CSN Chicago recently took some time to talk to veteran SP Jake Peavy, asking him about his fellow veteran DH Adam Dunn. In the course of their interview, Peavy talked about how Dunn's on field struggles translated to his off-field life, and it kind of touches the heartstrings of the human fan:
"There’s nobody who feels worse than the player going through it... Our families are sitting up there right with the fans, and we understand there’s going to be heckling and talking, but when you’re in your own home ballpark and you’re trying as absolutely hard as you can, and you can’t get out of a funk, it’s tough to have to sit up there and your kids have to listen to people yell about their dad. It was painful. There’s no doubt."
Dunn had the worst season of his career in 2011, hitting .159/.292/.277 with just 11 homers -- good for -2.9 wins above replacement (WAR). Interestingly, Peavy also had a rough year in 2011, struggling with injuries through the first portion of the season. He finished the year with good defensive-independent numbers, though, leading to a strong 2.9 WAR in just 19 games.
On the screen and in the stands, it feels so unreal -- so difficult -- to think of, to imagine MLB athletes as normal people -- neighbors, siblings, fathers, strangers at the store. And so we fans become implicit in the crime, all too often, of negatively impacting, with hateful words and careless anger, real people over a game, mere entertainment.
And that's a bummer.
Viciedo Headed to Left Field?
Chuck also passes along the word that the White Sox may be considering RF Dayan Viciedo for the left field job. Viciedo has played first base, third base and right field through his major and minor league career, but left field would be a first for him. Considering his infield flexibility, however, it shouldn't be too difficult for the 23-year-old to move across the grass.
Why might he move? Well, it looks like the Sox have a keen interest in giving 28-year-old OF Alejandro De Aza the keys to center field. OF Alex Rios has been primarily manning center field for the last two season, but his defense there, according UZR/150, is merely league average (0.3 runs above average) -- which is great, actually, but De Aza, who has actually been rather stellar in the early going at center (10.2 runs above average).
With Rios back in right (where he's been a historically excellent fielder -- 12.9 runs above average in UZR/150), the White Sox could effectively add at least two wins to last year's team by merely rearranging the fielders.
Assuming, of course, Viciedo can play left.