Adam Dunn said two little mechanical flaws have prevented him from what he wants to do at the plate this season.
Overall, Dunn, who ended a 31 at-bat hitless streak with a solo home run on Sunday still feels like he’s not too far off from where he wants to be with his bat. Dunn, the team’s designated hitter and fourth hitter on Monday, said he and hitting coach Jeff Manto have worked tirelessly to correct the two flaws. He has identified what’s wrong with his swing but doesn’t want to mess it up further by making incorrect adjustments.
Dunn is hitting .108 with three homers and six RBIs in 69 plate appearances this season.
“We’ve been working on those the last four or five days, pounding it,” Dunn said. “So hopefully, leave the cage, muscle memory takes over and we rock. I can feel it, what it is. I’m just trying to figure out a way to stop it and that’s the thing. I don’t want it to obviously snowball and one things leads to another leads to another and then you have 13 things to worry about. It’s not a huge issue, but it is to me.”
Dunn said his seventh inning-homer off Twins reliever Josh Roenicke on Sunday has the ability to boost his confidence. But he also knows it ended a stretch of 31 at-bats without a hit and that was on the heels of a road trip in which the slugger went 1-for-33.
Despite his struggles, Dunn emphasized he doesn’t feel lost at the plate.
“It’s kind of frustrating because that’s the same pitch for the most part, other than three or four times this year, that I’ve either rolled over or fouled it off,” Dunn said. “To at least put good wood on it and hit it hard, I’m going to take that as a positive.
… When I’m in the box I don’t feel like ‘Oh crap, here goes nothing.’ I feel good, like I can still do some damage. In the past when I’ve been struggling there’s some times where you don’t feel like you can, you’re just trying to walk or get drilled. Today could be a really good and here we go.”
Danks to Arizona
Left-hander John Danks is headed back to Glendale, Ariz. for a Friday start in extended spring training, he learned Monday. Danks said he’s expected to pitch six innings. He’d like to begin a rehab assignment but knew he was likely headed back to the team’s spring training facility.
“Nothing I didn’t know,” Danks said. “I’m going back to Arizona, throw Friday. Hoping everything goes well and we’ll go from there. But I won’t know anything until that game Friday and we’ll make a decision then. I’m making progress in the right direction. I’m not worried about it. I figure I’ll be back out on a rehab start. If not after this one, maybe after the next one. I’m not far. We’ll see.”
Danks has had several good reports in his last few outings. He said Sunday he hoped to head out on a rehab assignment and thought he’s ready. But manager Robin Ventura, Danks, pitching coach Don Cooper, trainer Herm Schneider and general manager Rick Hahn determined in a meeting Monday the best course is more time in extended spring.
“That's the best plan right now,” Ventura said. “We're just sticking with the plan. From what the medical reports are and what he's doing, it's better to send him back there and make sure he's strong enough when he does go out, whenever that is.”
Beckham sets lofty goals
Gordon Beckham is six days removed from surgery to repair the broken hamate bone in his left hand. He feels no pain, only the stitches, and is frustrated because the rest of his body is fine. He plans to stay active in the rehab process, which normally has a window of six-to-eight weeks. But Beckham said Monday he wants to be back on a major league field only six weeks after the surgery, though he realizes he’s not a trained physician.
“If I’m not playing in the big leagues in six weeks, I’m going to be very upset,” Beckham said. “Let’s put it that way. I’ve kind of made a mental goal: I want to be back in four. And there are people who have done that. But I would like to be playing in four weeks and back way before the six-week mark. But I don’t know. That’s just Dr. Gordon talking. He doesn’t know anything what he’s talking about.”