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Thread: Dunn doesn't like The Shift

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Dunn doesn't like The Shift

    Dunn doesn't like The Shift
    By Hal McCoy

    Staff Writer

    PITTSBURGH | The Shift, the exaggerated shift, aggravates and frustrates Cincinnati Reds left fielder Adam Dunn.

    When he comes to bat, teams routinely move the second baseman 30 feet into short right field and the shortstop moves to the right side of second base three infield defenders on the right side. The third baseman moves to the shortstop position and is the only infield defender on the left side.

    That shift was invented nearly 60 years ago by Cleveland player/manager Lou Boudreau against Ted Williams, who steadfastly refused to bunt up the third-base line.

    Dunn, too, is The Reluctant Bunter.

    "You think about bunting," he said, "then you think, 'Naw, I'm not giving into that thing (the shift).' Now, I'm just used to it. But it is frustrating when you hit a ball up the middle that should be a base hit or you hit a ball hard between first and second and a guy in the outfield throws you out."

    Trying anything to shake things up, manager Jerry Narron batted Dunn in the No. 2 spot Thursday, even though his hits these days are few.

    Told his lineup was, uh, interesting, Narron smiled and said, "A little bit. Just trying to mix things up. Dunn gets on base, has a very good on-base percentage (team-high .381) and you know he is going to see a lot of pitches."

    When it was mentioned he was batting second because of his on-base average and his discerning eye, Dunn said, "I still try to get on base any way I can. Getting on base is about all that's keeping me up here right now."

    If he meant it was what is keeping him in the majors, that's a bit drastic. Yes, he is slump-ridden, 7-for-50 (.140) after Thursday. While he is a threat to homer every at-bat, leading the team with 13, he hasn't homered since May 10.

    "I know it is going to get better it has to get better," he said.

    Alas, in the fourth inning Thursday, with the Reds down three runs and the bases loaded with one out, Dunn hit into a double play.

    Coffey perks up

    Relief pitcher Todd Coffey's numbers continue to be eye-popping, the kind folks like to see in a closer 2-0, 0.76 ERA, 21 strikeouts in 23 2/3 innings.

    Narron said before Thursday's game he isn't yet ready to make that appointment, preferring Coffey in the seventh and eighth innings.

    "To me, the seventh and eighth innings are so huge and Coffey has been so effective there," said Narron. "That's one reason that it has been tough to put him in the ninth inning and say, 'You're the ninth-inning guy.' "

    So, what happened Thursday? David Weathers, usually in the closer's role, pitched the seventh and eighth innings, then Coffey arrived in the ninth to protect a one-run lead, his first save opportunity this year after going 1-for-2 last year.

    "Read whatever you want into it, but it was because Coffey pitched a long inning Wednesday and Weathers didn't pitch," said Narron. "We couldn't ask Coffey to pitch two innings today, so we reversed roles. If the same situation comes up (tonight), Coffey will be back pitching two and Weathers the ninth."

    Phillips: a day off

    Brandon Phillips was not in Thursday's lineup, replaced at second base by Ryan Freel.

    "With Freel, with his numbers against right-handers (.173), we put him down in the order (eighth). He is 2-for-4 against Victor Santos (Pittsburgh starter)," Narron said. "But for Brandon Phillips, it is just a day off. Just a mental day off."

    During the Reds' previous five games, all defeats, Phillips was 2-for-17 (.118).

    Freel responded, going 2-for-3 with an RBI against Santos and had three hits on the day. Phillips entered the game in the seventh as part of a double switch.

    Aurilia returning

    Looking for a miracle potion, Narron plans to put Rich Aurilia in the lineup tonight when the Reds open a three-game interleague series in Comerica Park against American League Central leader Detroit.

    Where? Narron isn't certain of that, but as he said, "He'll definitely be in there somewhere, probably at third base or designated hitter."

    Aurilia is coming off the disabled list after suffering a strained groin. After Thursday's game, infielder Ray Olmedo was optioned to Class AAA Louisville.

    http://www.daytondailynews.com/sport...redsnotes.html

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    Member medford's Avatar
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    Re: Dunn doesn't like The Shift

    If Dunn continues to bat 2nd ahead of Griffey, Kearns & Edwin I'd strongly encourage dropping down the bunt from time to time against the shift. Getting on base anyway should be more of a key in that spot, and it might force the opposition to take the shift off opening up the rest of the infield.

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    Re: Dunn doesn't like The Shift

    Quit crying dunn and learn how to use the other field. Lay down a bunt hit a double down the 3rd base line and teams will stop doing the shift.

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    THAT'S A FACT JACK!! GAC's Avatar
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    Re: Dunn doesn't like The Shift

    Trying anything to shake things up, manager Jerry Narron batted Dunn in the No. 2 spot Thursday, even though his hits these days are few.

    Told his lineup was, uh, interesting, Narron smiled and said, "A little bit. Just trying to mix things up. Dunn gets on base, has a very good on-base percentage (team-high .381) and you know he is going to see a lot of pitches."

    When it was mentioned he was batting second because of his on-base average and his discerning eye, Dunn said, "I still try to get on base any way I can. Getting on base is about all that's keeping me up here right now."
    Yep. That Narron is gonna ruin Adam Dunn.
    "panic" only comes from having real expectations

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    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Dunn doesn't like The Shift

    I know teams are choosing their poison with the shift, much preferring Griffey or Dunn lay down a bunt or try to go the other way to slugging one out of the park, but it seems at some point some consideration has to be given to making efforts to go the other way more often by those two as Griffey has been doing of late. Pittsburgh was so bold to even shift with a man in scoring position. I dunno, I have mixed feelings still on Dunn making efforts to poke one through the left side as another way to get on base.
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    Stat Wanker Hodiernus RedsManRick's Avatar
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    Re: Dunn doesn't like The Shift

    I don't see too many games live, but I can't remember the last time Dunn hit a grounder to the left side. If Dunn comes up with the bases empty, I'd love to see him put one down, if for no other reason than seeing the defense react during his next AB.

    I don't see it as an ongoing thing, but given the right situatino, they could stand to benefit by keeping the defense honest.
    Games are won on run differential -- scoring more than your opponent. Runs are runs, scored or prevented they all count the same. Worry about scoring more and allowing fewer, not which positions contribute to which side of the equation or how "consistent" you are at your current level of performance.

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    Re: Dunn doesn't like The Shift

    "He'll definitely be in there somewhere, probably at third base or designated hitter."
    With the DH, the Reds may have sufficient offense to permit them to field a better defense. But there are so many defensive liabilities to possibly put at DH or on the bench.

    Especially against southpaws, some of the questions to answer include:
    1. How do Hatteberg and Dunn compare as defensive first basemen?
    2. Is Hatteberg a better defender at 1B than is Dunn as an outfielder?
    3. Would Encarnacion be more of an asset at 1B or even LF than at 3B?
    4. Does Freel's offense warrant his starting?
    5. Should Aurilia replace one of the lefty bats in the lineup?

    So, to get the best gloves in the game against LH starers I'd like to see:
    1B-DUNN
    2B-PHILLIPS
    SS-LOPEZ
    3B-AURILIA
    LF-ENCARNACION
    CF-FREEL
    RF-KEARNS
    C-LARUE
    DH-GRIFFEY

    Putting EE in LF today is a leap of faith without having played there in ST, but sight unseen, and considering his athleticism, I'd predict equal or better results than from Dunn, even a better arm. Based on the terrible record of the Reds' defense so far, these are the 8 position players I'd prefer if I were a Reds' pitcher.

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    Please come again pedro's Avatar
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    Re: Dunn doesn't like The Shift

    We're going to get the best gloves into te game by putting a player at a position he has never played before and putting a statue at 3B? (TTBOMK)
    Get your nunchucks and the keys to your dad's car. I know where we can get a gun

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    Re: Dunn doesn't like The Shift

    It is simple.. all Adam has to do is learn to QUIT pulling outside pitches and go the other way..once he starts that, they wont shift.DUH!

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    Re: Dunn doesn't like The Shift

    Quote Originally Posted by redsfan4445
    It is simple.. all Adam has to do is learn to QUIT pulling outside pitches and go the other way..once he starts that, they wont shift.DUH!
    I am not an expert in hitting mechanics, but the problem is that a power hitter wants to roll that top hand and generates power by doing so, thus pulling the ball on the ground when hitting the top of the ball. To go the other way, one has to keep that top hand behind the ball and essentially slap at the ball, hence the term "slap hitters." That's why I have mixed feelings about Dunn purposefully attempting to go the other way.
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    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Dunn doesn't like The Shift

    Quote Originally Posted by redsfan4445
    It is simple.. all Adam has to do is learn to QUIT pulling outside pitches and go the other way..once he starts that, they wont shift.DUH!
    Yep, pretty simple. Just completely change your approach and your swing mechanics.
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    Re: Dunn doesn't like The Shift

    I am not an expert in hitting mechanics, but the problem is that a power hitter wants to roll that top hand and generates power by doing so, thus pulling the ball on the ground when hitting the top of the ball. To go the other way, one has to keep that top hand behind the ball and essentially slap at the ball, hence the term "slap hitters." That's why I have mixed feelings about Dunn purposefully attempting to go the other way.
    Power hitters are not all alike. Some guys hit HRs all over the field (Pujols, Berkman, DLee). Dunn is quire pull-oriented, though he very occasionally will hit a ball well the other way. I do think your reference to the top hand is on target, and it may be involved in Dunn's tendency to yank the ball. I've said for a while now that going the other way is a skill that Dunn should work on, as it could elevate his already great production. I'm sure he's been working on it from time to time, though he hasn't demonstrated much progress -- I'm growing doubtful he can add it to his fundamental approach at the plate. We'll see.
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    Churlish Johnny Footstool's Avatar
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    Re: Dunn doesn't like The Shift

    BTW - it looks like we're having the same conversation on two threads:

    http://www.redszone.com/forums/showthread.php?t=46149
    "I prefer books and movies where the conflict isn't of the extreme cannibal apocalypse variety I guess." Redsfaithful

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    Matt's Dad RANDY IN INDY's Avatar
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    Re: Dunn doesn't like The Shift

    Quote Originally Posted by redsfan4445
    It is simple.. all Adam has to do is learn to QUIT pulling outside pitches and go the other way..once he starts that, they wont shift.DUH!
    It's all about staying long on the ball and getting good extension, releasing the power, out and away from the baseball. Watch Griffey. He doesn't roll the wrists over. His hands are "flat" through the hitting area and he gets wonderful lead arm extension. Matter of fact, if you roll them at less than the perfect time, you are more apt to get topspin on the ball (instead of backspin which gives you much more carry on the ball as a power hitter) and hit a ground ball to the right side of the infield. (If you are a lefthanded hitter/left side for a right hander) It also jerks the barrel of the bat back toward your body which I think decreases your overall power to all parts of the ballpark and surely limits the extension that you get "through the baseball."

    Adam Dunn is strong enough to hit it out to any field without putting a perfect swing on the ball every time. As much as he gets pitched on the outside corner with two strikes, it would be a wonderful thing to see him start getting a few hits the other way, extending through the baseball instead of trying to jerk it to the right side. Quite a few of them would definitely fly out of the park. I'm sure Chambliss has suggested this to Dunn, and at some point, if he is smart, he will listen.
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    Re: Dunn doesn't like The Shift

    Quote Originally Posted by RedsManRick
    I don't see too many games live, but I can't remember the last time Dunn hit a grounder to the left side.
    I think he cued one off the end of his bat, last year

    He also hit an up/away pitch into the lcf gap against the Pirates in spring training, so he has the ability to hit the ball "where it's pitched"

    And that's what Chambliss has emphasized with Adam in year's past
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