I am probably in a minority of one for much of what I am going to post here. And I know I am opening up an old debate that has been vented by many over an extended period of time. Despite that I must vent a little more, since I am beside myself after watching Adam Dunn consistently failing to score runners from third base and move other runners forward. Using the usual top line slugging statistics he appears to be a top-of-the-line offensive asset. I disagree. I am not going to dig out a bunch of statistics to back up my claim, though I am sure I could if needed.
I believe if Mike Morse was in the same batting position as Dunn this season he would have more RBIs. Although he might have hit 20 fewer HRs and therefore 20 fewer RBIs from HRs, if he played the same number of games as Dunn he would more than make up for these ‘lost’ RBIs by putting the ball in play a whole lot more. And I am not convinced that the Morse HR total might not be closer to 30. Further Morse would advance many more combined runners from home to first (he has/will hit at least 30 pts. higher for BA), plus runners from first and second. Dunn has the strong edge in getting walks, but net-net I favor Morse.
What many fans fail to properly value, I believe, is the negative impact of strikeouts, especially when they reach well over 150 per season, and it comes from the fourth spot in the batting order.
In sum, while I previously believed that after failing to trade Dunn for at least two good defensive players, that could also hold their own at bat, signing him was important. I have reassessed and would rather take the draft choices when he signs with some other team as a free agent, and take the salary savings to aggressively go into the free agent market ourselves. I know this is close to heresy, but losing Dunn will be addition by subtraction. I hear some of the counter arguments in my head already such as attendance will be affected negatively and the Nats will lose a valuable in-the-clubhouse player. I say losing is the overriding reason for low attendance and winning will not only cure this, but the other players will soon forget Dunn and enjoy winning, if that occurs. What’s more important: having a player around who hits HRs, but is deficit in almost every other respect, or winning more games? Perhaps we can have both but the Nats record since obtaining Dunn is so awful that this assertion is hard to justify.
Give me a .290 BA, 110 RBI, 30 HR, and less than 100 SO player in the cleanup spot anytime over Dunn. I believe Morse can perform at that level. Let’s find out—let Dunn leave.