KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Adam Dunn was out of the lineup Tuesday night and it’s not out of the question he’ll sit out tonight, too, manager Ozzie Guillen said.
The Royals started left-hander Danny Duffy on Tuesday night and will start lefty Bruch Chen tonight. Dunn is 2-for-64 against left-handers with 29 of his 124 strikeouts, but Dunn (.158, nine homers, 36 RBI) is struggling against pitchers of all shapes and sizes.
“It depends on how we do today–then we’ll figure out tomorrow,” Guillen said.
Guillen let out a big sigh when asked if he is at a loss about what to do with Dunn, who is in the first year of a four-year, $56 million contract. Since hitting a two-run single against Justin Verlander in the first game after the All-Star break, Dunn is 1-for-13 with six strikeouts.
“Against the best pitcher in the game,” Guillen said. “Then we say, ‘there we go, we got him back, the break helped him. Everything goes through your mind when every time you go to the plate and hope for something good will happen, and it continues to not to happen.
“What can we do? Believe me, we can just throw him out there and play him. We try to help him physically and mentally, give him a vote of confidence. We tell him we still believe in him, we don’t regret signing him, he’s not the man on this ballclub, he’s not having to carry the ballclub. Everything is in his favor. The only thing that’s not in his favor is he’s not producing.”
Dunn said he doesn’t feel like he regressed in the last few games.
“I don’t think so,” he said. “They’re making adjustments. Yesterday I got pitched differently [more breaking balls]. Just being too aggressive since the All-Star break and they’re taking advantage of it by throwing me soft stuff early and that’s not my game.
“Everything is there except me swinging at bad pitches. I’m working the count, putting myself in usually good hitters counts and not making them pay.”
On Sunday, Guillen said he would not protect Dunn from breaking Mark Reynolds’ major league record of 223 strikeouts in 2009.
“I will sit him down if he’s not helping the ballclub – but not because of a mark,” Guillen said.
In other words, Dunn will be treated like a big boy.
“He has to do it for himself,” Guillen said Tuesday. “We can’t do anything about it.”