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OnBaseMachine
03-14-2007, 07:58 PM
Dunn learning on the fly
Slugger making progress on defense, and the coaches are noticing.
Click-2-Listen
By Hal McCoy

Dayton Daily News

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

TAMPA, Fla. Adam Dunn, carrying a glove instead of a bat, was told that Cincinnati Reds outfield coach Billy Hatcher piled praise on Dunn's defensive progress this spring.

"Billy Hatcher? Impossible," said Dunn. "He never says good things about anybody."

If that's true, and it isn't because Hatcher is an affable fellow, then the praise for Dunn was doubly meaningful.

When Dunn came to camp, he told everybody his mission this spring and this season was to not only be a good outfielder, but a great outfielder, this from a guy who last year couldn't carry his glove through an airport metal detector without lights, bells and whistles exploding.

Dunn is proving he is sincere, and Hatcher notices.

"He is serious about getting better," said Hatcher. "He wants to play defense and realizes it is a matter of putting the time in, going out there to work, and that's what he is doing.

"He believes he can do it, and he is getting better by shagging fly balls, and as a result he is tracking the ball better, throwing the ball better all of it coming from effort," Hatcher added. "He is willing himself to become a better ballplayer. Adam Dunn is a good athlete, so it's just getting his mindset right, and he wants to do it. It's easy to do when it is something you want to do, and I'd never bet against Adam Dunn, in any capacity."

Dunn wishes he'd get more fly balls this spring, something that hasn't happened yet. He knows that if you can track and chase down fly balls under the difficult high Florida sky, you can do it easily in Great American Ball Park, a place that was a nightmare on Opening Day last year when Dunn did more pirouettes than Baryshnikov chasing fly balls on a wind-swept afternoon.

"Hatcher said that? That's good," said Dunn. "I do know so far that I'm getting a lot better jumps on balls. Defensively, I'm happy with the way it's going. Not many opportunities, but I'm pleased with those that I've had."

Manager Jerry Narron notices, too, but he is paid to notice and paid to push players to eradicate shortcomings.

"Adam is taking defensive outfield improvement seriously, working the Hatcher and Nappy (coach Ed Napoleon)," said Narron. "He can make our defense that much better."

Defense, as a whole, has been on Narron's mind.

"We've been able at times this spring to play outstanding defensive teams," he said. "When you talk about Alex Gonzalez at short and Brandon Phillips at second, then put Juan Castro at third to go with those two guys.

"In the outfield, Dewayne Wise is as good as there is, with Ryan Freel and Josh Hamilton and Chris Denorfia and Norris Hopper, there is some athleticism."

Although Dunn says there are still some kinks, his bat in functioning potently, spraying line drives to all corners in addition to plugging a couple of home runs.

"I'm trying to see a lot of pitches, and it isn't happening," he said. "I take pitches and it's 0-and-2 and that's when I strikeout. But that's why I keep taking pitches. I want to get my timing down."

Dunn is hitting .474 with two homers, six RBI and seven strikeouts in 19 at-bats and no errors.

http://www.daytondailynews.com/s/content/oh/story/sports/pro/reds/2007/03/13/ddn031407redswebnew.html

reds44
03-14-2007, 08:06 PM
Great article and it's good to hear Dunn getting better.

BUT BUT BUT


"When you talk about Alex Gonzalez at short and Brandon Phillips at second, then put Juan Castro at third to go with those two guys.

NO JERRY. Please don't do this again, not after what we went through last year.

edabbs44
03-14-2007, 08:09 PM
Dude...this is just as bad:


"In the outfield, Dewayne Wise is as good as there is, with Ryan Freel and Josh Hamilton and Chris Denorfia and Norris Hopper, there is some athleticism."

The phrases "DeWayne Wise" and "as good as there is" should never be in the same sentence unless the sentence ends with "at sucking."

OnBaseMachine
03-14-2007, 08:10 PM
Narron should be fired if he continues replacing EE this year with Castro.

reds44
03-14-2007, 08:13 PM
Dude...this is just as bad:



The phrases "DeWayne Wise" and "as good as there is" should never be in the same sentence unless the sentence ends with "at sucking."
True, but at least he didn't say "When you put DeWayne Wise in left field".......

KronoRed
03-14-2007, 08:32 PM
Wise? Castro?

Jerry please..you're scaring the kids.

Team Clark
03-15-2007, 08:42 AM
Narron should be fired if he continues replacing EE this year with Castro.

That all depends if EE continues to make progress. If he still has trouble going to his left, throws wildly while still on the ground, charges and can not pick up the ball and crosses up his footwork then why wouldn't you replace him? Having said all of that... if he quits doing all of those things and plays at least a slightly above average 3B then Juan gets the best seat in the house. I'd love to see EE become the complete player he can be. Sounds to me like he's putting the work in and is improving. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

OnBaseMachine
03-15-2007, 06:52 PM
EE has incredible range, range that Castro wishes he had, that's why you don't replace him.

pedro
03-15-2007, 06:56 PM
That all depends if EE continues to make progress. If he still has trouble going to his left, throws wildly while still on the ground, charges and can not pick up the ball and crosses up his footwork then why wouldn't you replace him? Having said all of that... if he quits doing all of those things and plays at least a slightly above average 3B then Juan gets the best seat in the house. I'd love to see EE become the complete player he can be. Sounds to me like he's putting the work in and is improving. Guess we'll have to wait and see.

EE has trouble going to his left? Not in the games I watched.

Castro has trouble going anywhere.

TC81190
03-15-2007, 06:58 PM
EE has incredible range, range that Castro wishes he had, that's why you don't replace him.

Gonna play devil's advocate....


What's the use getting to the ball if you can't get it to first?

pedro
03-15-2007, 06:59 PM
Gonna play devil's advocate....


What's the use getting to the ball if you can't get it to first?

To keep it from getting to Dunn?

KronoRed
03-15-2007, 07:00 PM
Gonna play devil's advocate....


What's the use getting to the ball if you can't get it to first?

I'd rather keep the guy at 1st then have the ball rattle around in the corner as the guy gets a stand up double.

OnBaseMachine
03-15-2007, 07:01 PM
Gonna play devil's advocate....


What's the use getting to the ball if you can't get it to first?

Those balls that EE throws away are doubles when Castro is in the game.

paulrichjr
03-15-2007, 08:05 PM
To keep it from getting to Dunn?


Thank you. I laughed out loud on that one.:laugh:

GAC
03-15-2007, 08:14 PM
"He is serious about getting better," said Hatcher. "He wants to play defense and realizes it is a matter of putting the time in, going out there to work, and that's what he is doing.

"He believes he can do it

That says it all. Good for you Adam.

Razor Shines
03-15-2007, 08:19 PM
Those balls that EE throws away are doubles when Castro is in the game.

I am not sure where I fall on this issue yet, but if you throw it in the dugout isn't it a double anyway?

Team Clark
03-15-2007, 08:43 PM
Thank you. I laughed out loud on that one.:laugh:

Me too because last year it was true. :eek:

EE had a lot of trouble staying on his feet when he went wide left. Reminiscent of "skates" Larson. By the end of the season he was at least staying on his feet. Got to give EE credit. As bad as his defense was early in the season he kept at it and did show signs of improvement by Sept. His range to the baseline was never an issue but he did have trouble getting a glove on it. Late in the season he was grabbing those as well. Reminds me of how Wade Boggs attacked 3B early in his career and "decided" to become a Gold Glove caliber defender. Worked out good for him. Defense is a lot harder than most fans realize.

dougdirt
03-15-2007, 09:09 PM
Reminds me of how Wade Boggs attacked 3B early in his career and "decided" to become a Gold Glove caliber defender. Worked out good for him. Defense is a lot harder than most fans realize.

Especially at that position.