Pitchers Parks Means Jays Have To Seriously Change Approach
May 15, 2013; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia (9) gets to second on an error by San Francisco Giants center fielder Angel Pagan (not pictured) in the first inning at the Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY SportsThe Toronto Blue Jays hit a lot of home runs. That’s been there calling card for many years now.
Home runs are fun but a criticism of the Jays over the years is that they always swing for the fences.
That’s a hard way to stay consistent. People constantly say the Jays should use the whole field, take compact swings, shorten up with 2 strikes, and whatever other cliches you can think of for taking good swings.
The Jays will make those adjustments every now and then but it never lasts for the entire 6 months of the season.
And you know what? If you’ve got home runs hitter up and down your lineup and you get a pitch you think you can drive far take a big swing at it.
But the Blue Jays are now starting a 7 game road trip through 3 very very pitcher friendly ballparks. That means balls that would be home runs at Rogers Centre or any AL East park for that matter are going to be routine fly outs.
To pick on Arencibia a little bit that means he’s not going to be hitting as many home runs so his already unimpressive 262 on base percentage is going to take a hit. It would probably be wise to start hitting him lower than 5th or 4th during this road trip since hoping and praying he hits a home run with runners on base is why he hits so high in the first place.
These are the field dimensions of Atlanta’s home ball park Turner Field:
Left Field – 335 ft (102 m)
Left-Center – 380 ft (116 m)
Center Field – 401 ft (122 m)
Right-Center – 390 ft (119 m)
Right Field – 330 ft (100.5 m)
It’s not crazy big but it’s big enough for Turner Field to be considered a pitcher friendly park.
These are the field dimensions of San Diego’s home ball park Petco Park:
Left field Line – 334 feet (102 m)
Left field – 367 feet (112 m)
Left field alley – 390 feet (119 m)
Center field – 396 feet (121 m)
Right field alley – 391 feet (119 m)
Right field – 382 feet (116 m)
Right field line – 322 feet (98 m)
And that’s with them bringing the fences in after the 2012 season! Before 2013 it was one of the most extreme pitcher-friendly ballparks in the majors. It still is a pitchers park as it is averaged just 1.96 home runs per game this season. The Rogers Centre has averaged 3.03 this season!
Then there are the field dimensions of San Francisco’s home ball park AT&T Park:
Left field line – 339 feet (103 m)
Left field – 364 feet (111 m)
Left-center field – 404 feet (123 m)
Center field – 399 feet (122 m)
Right-center field – 421 feet (128 m)
Right field – 365 feet (111 m)
Right field line – 309 feet (94 m)
AT&T Park is the definition of a pitchers ball park. If you’ve never gotten a look at it before the Jays go there or even if you have you can’t help but think how has anyone hit a home run there ever!!?! If you ever needed proof that the Hall of Fame is a joke that park is it because Barry Bonds should have been inducted just for being able to have 20 home runs seasons playing half his games in that ballpark. This season it’s averaged just 1.50 home runs a game.
The Jays are going to have to seriously change their all or nothing approach at the plate if they’re going to have any success on this road trip, if they don’t it’s going to be a long seven games.