Impact of Dunn Trade, C.Lee injury on Cubs

Breaking news out of Cincinnati (OK, more like out of Phoenix)...the Reds have traded the Big Donkey, Adam Dunn, to the D-Backs for prospects. Dunn is tied for the MLB lead in HR's, but is currently hitting .233. This will fill the hole left in the lineup by the O-Dog (Orlando Hudson for those tiring of the nickname game). This news is combined with the news that the reigning N.L. player of the week, Carlos Lee, is done for the season with a broken bone in his pinkie. So, with the Reds and Astros down (see picture...get it? both teams are down? Moving on...), how will these stories impact the Cubs, both in the division race and in the pennant race?

First, the El Caballo injury. The Stros have 6 games left against the Cubs and only 3 left against the Cards and Brew-Crew. Advantage Cubs. But, the bigger story with this one is the fact that Lee is at least in the starting lineup for the Cub Killer team, if not the poster child. He's a career .313 hitter against the Cubs with 27 HR's (8 more than any other opponent). I certainly am not going to miss seeing him crank HR's off the Cubs the remainder of the year.

As for the Dunn impact on the race? Well, the Cards have 9 games left against the Reds, 3 more than either the Cubs or the Brew-Crew. But hold on there, sports fan. While the Cards seem to have the advantage by playing more games against the Reds, they also have 7 games left against the D-Backs, while the Cubs and Brewers have already finished there season series. As it turns out, the Big Donkey also is a Cub Killer. 38 career HR's, 7 more than his HR total against Milwaukee (his second best team to hit against). But of the teams he's played more than 40 games against, he's hit for a higher average against the Brewers and stolen more bases against them. All in all, probably a draw.

The biggest issue, in my opinion, is what this does to the D-Backs, the team the Cubs would play if the playoffs started today. Obviously, the .305 batting average of Hudson doesn't compare well to Dunn's .233, but then again, Hudson only had 8 HR's. But this makes the job of Bob Melvin's (or Bo-Mel, as I once heard in called (I swear, I'm not making that up for the sake of nicknames)) really hard. They don't have a 2-sack and too many 1-sacks. The D-Backs are probably going to have to rely on a combination of Chris Burke and Augie "How do I still play MLB" Ojeda to fill the 2-sack spot, thanks in part to their trading of their #6 prospect Emilio Bonifacio to the Nat's for Jon Rauch. In the short term, they are OK in getting everyone PT because Justin Upton is on the D.L. But he's on a rehab, meaning that once he returns, they have Conor Jackson, Adam Dunn, Tony Clark, and Chad Tracy to fill 1st and LF. OK, so TC probably isn't going to be logging a lot of innings, but they still have to find a way to get 3 guys in 2 spots. Things could get messier if Eric Byrnes comes back from injury before the end of the season, althought that doesn't seem likely.

While this moves gives the D-Backs a deeper bench, the loss of Hudson isn't going to be replaced by Dunn. Hudson was one of only two D-Backs with an average above .280. Dunn gives them some thunder in the lineup when he gets a hold of a ball, but now you've created more trouble in your clubhouse as guys vie for playing time.

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