After struggling through a lackluster 2011 season in which he managed only 11 home runs, the White Sox designated hitter has rediscovered his confidence at the plate. He’s already got 28 dingers heading into Thursday night against Boston, and has no qualms about admitting that yes, this year is going better than the last one.
“Wasn’t hard to do,” Dunn quips, now able to laugh about his struggles.
The current league leader in home runs, walks and strikeouts, Dunn realizes that it isn’t always easy to bounce back from a rough season. But he’s found a way, and he’s confident that Red Sox outfielder Carl Crawford will be able to as well.
“A player like Carl is not going to struggle for long,” said Dunn, who counts Crawford as a good friend of his. “He’s too good of an athlete, too good of a player to struggle. As long as he’s healthy, he’s going to put up great numbers.
“He’s one of the most dynamic players in the game,” Dunn continued. “People need to remember that.”
So far in his return to Boston, Crawford has had no problem reminding the baseball world of that fact. To Dunn’s points, Craword is finally healthy… and his numbers have been great.
Crawford has scored two runs in each of his first three games back in a Red Sox uniform, the speedy lefty showing no ill effects of an offseason wrist surgery or the nagging elbow problems that might necessitate Tommy John surgery after this year.
Yes, it’s only been three games, but they’ve been important first steps for Crawford, a player who always wears his heart on his sleeve.
“He takes stuff really personal,” Dunn said. “When he’s not playing well, he really takes that to heart.”
But the man they call “Big Country” sees no reason why Crawford’s success won’t continue.
“He’s pretty healthy right now,” the 6-foot-6 Dunn said. “I don’t know if he’s 100 percent, but who is? Carl at 90 percent is better than most people at 150.”
Whatever percentage Crawford is playing at, the Red Sox have certainly been glad to have him around this year.