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08/12/08 12:11 AM ET
D-backs happy to add Dunn's bat
Slugger to add power, on-base percentage to lineup
By Mike Ritter / MLB.com
PHOENIX -- A small burden has been lifted from the D-backs' hitters and onto the back of Adam Dunn. The D-backs are just hoping Dunn does what he has done his whole career -- rake opposing pitching. Dunn has 270 career homers in 1,087 games, and this season is tied for the Major League lead in home runs with 32, and leads baseball with a ratio of 11.66 at-bats per home run. "It's great," D-backs center fielder Chris Young said of the deal. "He's an amazing hitter. He can help any offense out, no doubt about it. I'm glad to have him here. "He puts up some amazing power numbers. You know he's going to hit some home runs and he brings us some excitement to the game as well." Dunn has hit 40 homers in each of the last three seasons and 46 in 2004 with the Reds. On top of being one of the top power hitters in the game, he also is third in the Majors with 80 walks and has a .380 on-base percentage. He will immediately be slotted in the cleanup spot in his first game, a spot in the lineup he will get accustomed to with the D-backs, who certainly won't miss facing him. "It's going to be good," said pitcher Brandon Webb. "He's a guy that produces a lot of runs, he draws some walks and has a good on-base percentage. I don't know where they're going to stick him, but wherever it is, he's going to do some damage." The D-backs will put Dunn in right field until Justin Upton returns from his rehab stint. Dunn has also played first base and left field in his career. "At this point in time, simply making any personnel adjustments that inevitably will lead to us winning ballgames, I'm all for it," said Tony Clark. "I'm looking forward to Adam simply doing what he does and contributing for us down the stretch and inevitably helping support us win a division title." One of Clark's first reactions was if he, a 6-foot-7 former basketball player, could even be used in the D-backs' starting five in a basketball game. Dunn, all of 6-foot-6 and 275 pounds, was one of the top high school quarterbacks in the country in Texas. He still is just the fourth-tallest D-back behind Jon Rauch (6-foot-11), Randy Johnson (6-foot-10) and Clark. Upon hearing news that the D-backs had just acquired Dunn from the Reds, outfielder Jeff Salazar joked with manager Bob Melvin about the size of his roster. "I didn't know we were trying to build a basketball team," Salazar quipped. "We've got the biggest team in the history of baseball," Webb said. "It's crazy." The D-backs are just hoping Dunn will bring his bat with him to an offense that has struggled since getting off to a torrid April. "Dunny is a good-sized individual," Clark said. "When people get an up close and personal look at him, they won't be surprised how far he can hit."
Mike Ritter is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.