Jose Canseco has tips for Adam Dunn
ZION, Ill. -- Chicago White Sox slugger Adam Dunn probably doesn't want any more advice on how to break out of his season-long slump, but he could do worse than listen to a disgraced 47-year-old designated hitter who struck out to end an independent league game Wednesday afternoon.
Canseco is in town as his Scorpions play the Lake County Fielders in North American Baseball League action. He struck out with two on to end a 6-2 loss. (He also knocked in Joey Gathright from third on a hard-dribbling single.)
Asked if he had any advice for Dunn, Canseco said Dunn should just swing harder and more often.
"God, what is he, 6-8, 300 pounds?" Canseco said. "If I were him, I'd say forget about the average, just simplify things: See the ball and put your hands on it quickly. A lot of these guys try to do too much with it and they struggle. He's so damn strong if he just lays his body back and expands his hands forward, he's going to hit a lot of home runs. Sometimes it takes a struggle like that to find yourself."
Canseco, of course, knows what's it like to be a free-swinging designated hitter with the White Sox. He finished his Major League career with the Sox in 2001, hitting .258 with 16 homers, 49 RBIs, and putting up an .843 OPS in 76 games.
Dunn would kill for those numbers. Through 74 games, he is hitting .166 with eight home runs, 32 RBIs and .610 OPS.
"A lot of times, it's just doubting your ability," Canseco said. "For myself, I tend to get more aggressive than any other power hitter, when I'm struggling. Like Timmy says, swing hard just in case you hit it. You never know."
"Timmy" is Lake County manager Tim Johnson, who managed Canseco in Toronto in 1998, when the team went 88-74.
Canseco, who is hitting .250 with two homers and 14 RBIs for the struggling Scorpions, missed the first two games of the seven-game series at Lake County -- Yuma is in the middle of the familiar Edmonton-Calgary-Zion-Maui road trip -- to compete in a charity home run derby in Anaheim to benefit Lou Gehrig's disease (ALS).
The series against Lake County runs through Sunday.
Jon Greenberg is a columnist for ESPNChicago.com.