Patience a key factor in every baseball season
Before I address some of my audience's contemporary questions, let me ask one of my own:
Q. What's with all these injuries?
Obviously, there's no real reason they happen. They just happen. And it so happens that the White Sox are experiencing a phase in which six of their players are on the disabled list, including two starters in the rotation (Gavin Floyd and John Danks).
Now, depending on the severity of Floyd's elbow injury, there's a possibility both he and Danks -- who's beginning a rehab assignment with Birmingham this week -- return around the same time.
For a team that's been remarkably healthy over the last decade, it's a considerable blow.
No use whining about it, though. They'll just have to find a way to tread water until everyone returns. The Sox are not the only team that'll deal with it this season.
Now, let's move on to a couple of the common and current concerns from fans:
Q. Will this defense get better?
Honestly, it should. I'm having a difficult time understanding why a team that was as steady as it was last season, is having such a rough start to 2013.
Usually, defense is not something that simply disappears from one year to the next, provided the team's personnel hasn't experienced a whole lot of turnover.
I'm inclined to think they'll eventually solidify that aspect of their game. And to be perfectly direct, this isn't a team that can afford to be a poor defensive team this year. Not if they want any real chance at the division.
Reason being: they just don't score enough.
The only thing they can do as a club is continue to work at it and to relax. As long as they don't let defense become a "thing" [Thing (thing) noun. see: Chuck Knoblauch] they should be all right. Hopefully, sooner rather than later, because it's costing them wins in the meantime.
Q. Can't the Sox just relea…
NO. The White Sox cannot just release Adam Dunn. I mean, they could, but they could also try to sell the team to me for a dollar. In other words, it wouldn't make a whole lot of sense, and it wouldn't happen anyway.
There are a dozen reasons why they shouldn't/wouldn't, and the last four days are an indication of reason number one: it's highly unlikely that he'll be an unproductive player this year.
Granted, it is just four games, but has Dunn, at any other time this season, put together that many consecutive days like this? A couple of home runs, 5 total hits, 5 runs batted in, and 6 walks makes for a pretty good four-game period. It's certainly more Dunn-like.
The previous four days does not, in any way, predict the rest of this season. But what it does suggest is that he is still capable of having good at-bats on a number of consecutive days, which, in turn, suggests he can still put it together for the majority of the season.
This is why one should never write (or speak) the words "Adam Dunn (or any player, for that matter) is done" any time before the month of May.
I don't know how Dunn's entire season will unfold, but what I do know is that it's a mistake to ignore one of the most important virtues in baseball: patience.