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Jim Adduci has streaky start to season for Mud Hens

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    Mud Hens outfielder Jim Adduci makes contact in a game against Indianapolis at Fifth Third Field earlier this season. Adduci's 14-game hit streak is the longest in the International League this season.

    BLADE/JEREMY WADSWORTH

  • s5adduci-jpg

    Mud Hens outfielder Jim Adduci, shown touching home plate, celebrates after hitting a home run against Indianapolis earlier this month.

    BLADE/AMY E. VOIGT

  • SPT-Hens11p-83

    Toledo's Jim Adduci, left, and Columbus first baseman Adam Rosales share a laugh during a game at Fifth Third Field last week. The laugh came when the Clippers pitcher threw to first base -- before Adduci had taken his lead, surprising both Adduci and Rosales.

    Blade/Kurt Steiss

Jim Adduci has been streaky to start the season — and that’s a good thing.

The Toledo Mud Hens’ veteran outfielder posted a 14-game hit streak in the first month of this season, which is tied for the longest streak in the International League this year.

That fed a 22-game on-base streak for the Illinois native, who enters the homestand that began Tuesday hitting .286 with four homers and 21 RBIs, the fourth-best RBI total in the league. Adduci also has a .336 on-base percentage and a .487 slugging percentage. He leads the Hens with 10 doubles and is second with four stolen bases.

Adduci, who also celebrated his 33rd birthday Tuesday, split time last season between the Mud Hens and Detroit. He also played in the majors with Texas in 2013 and 2014.

The 6-foot-2, 210-pound outfielder also played in the Korea Baseball Organization for two seasons. He batted .314 with 28 homers, 106 RBIs and 24 steals with the Lotte Giants, then hit .291 with seven homers, 41 RBIs and 15 steals in 64 games the next season.

VIDEO: Jim Adduci talks about playing baseball in Korea.

The Blade: When do you start thinking about a streak? Or does it never cross your mind?

Jim Adduci: “I shave when I don’t get a hit. During the last streak, I reached a point where I said, ‘This is getting pretty bad.’ And that’s when I realized I had a streak. But I had reached eight or nine [games] at that point, and I thought that I had just put several good series together.”

Is that how you put together a streak: You have to stack one good day upon another rather than thinking about getting hits in a bunch of days in a row?

“Exactly. You want to have a good day, and then have back-to-back good days. Sometimes you just need to have hits fall, and that’s how you suddenly get rolling.”

You had a 14-game hit streak, but you also had a 22-game on-base streak. Do you follow an on-base streak as closely as you do a hit streak?

“No, I didn’t know I had that on-base streak. It makes sense because you know you’ve had hits a bunch of days in a row, so it’s possible you have the on-base streak. But I don’t think about getting hits or walks; with this team, I just want to do things to help. If that’s taking a walk, that’s what I want to do.”

When I researched that hit streak, I found something interesting: Your 22-game on-base streak started April 10. The game you played before that, on April 8, you did not reach base — and that game snapped a streak of 22 straight games where you had reached base, dating back to last season.

“Really?”

That’s right. What’s your reaction when you hear those numbers — and hear that you got on base in 44 out of 45 games?

“That’s kind of shocking. I didn’t realize any of that stuff. As a player, you’re focused on the day, and you’re so focused on that you don’t think about how that rolls together into days in a row.”

In this age with new metrics that give weight to getting on base, how does it make you feel when you learn about those long on-base streaks?

“As a player, I’m still kind of focused on the batting average. I think that dictates a lot of what the game entails. With all the stats and sabermetrics and stuff that’s out there, those stats are weighed a little different now. Maybe in this era those are more important stats to have.”

Is there one statistic that you pay the most attention to?

“For me, it’s always about runs and RBIs. It always has been. I was taught that if you add up your runs and RBIs and that equals the number of games you have played, then you are being productive. That means you are scoring runs and driving in runs. I’m sure there are other stats that I don’t even know about, and maybe I’ll learn them when I get out of the game. But for me, for right now, I want to get on base to maybe score a run or get a guy who is on base either over or in.”

Right now you’re part of a Toledo lineup that is really productive. Does that help you in reaching your goals for runs scored and RBIs?

“Absolutely. I think what we have in this lineup are guys that bring energy, guys that drive in runs — and somebody different seems to step up every day. When you have a lineup like that, it helps guys feed on one another. And that’s a dangerous lineup.

“There always seems to be someone who steps up, and every night it seems to be a different person. That helps everyone relax because even when you’re not successful you can think, ‘Even though I wasn’t successful, the next guy will get it done.’ And when it gels like that, it’s a fun lineup to be a part of.”

RELATEDAdduci willing to earn his job with Mud Hens, Tigers.

It seems to me that this Toledo lineup also is full of guys putting together good at-bats. Most Triple-A lineups are not as deep as this Mud Hens lineup; does that add to the fun of hitting?

“It does. Each one of us as a player has brought some different things to the order. Some guys can work counts, and some are aggressive. Some are good with two strikes. It has jelled well together. It’s a long season, so the key is to keep it going. You deal with guys going up and down, and you deal with guys being hurt, but so far this lineup has kept it together.”

Contact John Wagner at jwagner@theblade.com419-724-6481, or on Twitter @jwagnerblade.

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