Dunn undergoes minor tweaking
BY JOHN FAY | JFAY@ENQUIRER.COM
SARASOTA, Fla. - It's fair to say that if Brook Jacoby didn't have a history of success with Adam Dunn, Jacoby might not be the Reds' new hitting coach.
But Jacoby was a roving instructor in the Reds' minor league system when Dunn was a phenom, bashing his way to the big leagues.
Dunn's average has slipped from .266 to .247 to .233 over the last three years - this from a guy who hit .304 in 1,208 minor-league at-bats.
The Reds are hoping Jacoby can reverse the downward trend. Jacoby got a head start on the Dunn project by going to Houston to work with Dunn in January.
"We're trying to have less movement," Jacoby said. "It allows him to better recognize the pitch."
Not exactly a swing makeover.
"It's a slight tweak," Jacoby said. "I told him that. It's not going to rock your world."
Dunn is receptive to the change.
"I'm all for it," he said.
Jacoby was pleased with the change when he saw Dunn hit after reporting to camp.
"I was surprised when he came in," Jacoby said. "He's working on it. He wants to get it right."
THE ROTATION: Eric Milton will start the exhibition opener Thursday at 1:05 p.m. against the Pirates at Bradenton.
Kyle Lohse will start the second game Friday at 7:05 p.m. against his old club, Minnesota, in Fort Myers.
Aaron Harang will start the home exhibition opener Saturday at 1:05 p.m. against Minnesota, and Bronson Arroyo will pitch Sunday at 1:05 p.m. against Pittsburgh in Bradenton.
No word on who will pitch the intrasquad game Wednesday, but it will be probably be a lot of pitchers competing for the fifth spot.
Having Harang pitch before Arroyo is a strong early hint about who will pitch Opening Day.
Does the setup down here mean Harang starts the April 2 opener against the Chicago Cubs?
"I believe it means he starts the third game down here," Narron said.
Harang started Opening Day last year.
Arroyo was named the club's outstanding pitcher but you could make a case that Harang had a better year. He won more games (16 to 14), had more strikeouts (216 to 184) and pitched more complete games (6 to 3).