Michael Morse, along with shorter dimensions at Safeco Field, has helped the Seattle stadium become more hitter-friendly in 2013. (Reuters)
Six weeks in and time to check how the off-season reconfigurations of Petco Park and Safeco Field have affected home run production. Petco, in San Diego, has seen the more noticeable jump, going from 1.35 homers a game last season to 1.89.
The Padres, deciding that “a 400-foot blast deserves to be a home run,” brought in the 402-foot power alley fences to 390 in left-centre and 391 in right-centre and lowered them to eight feet in height.
A quick check of hittrackeronline.com shows that of the 34 HRs hit at Petco this season, heading into Saturday’s action, six, maybe seven, would have stayed in the yard last year. Amusingly enough, each of those was hit by an opposition batter.
In Seattle, Safeco’s alteration wasn’t as drastic -- left-centre moved in 12 feet, fences lowered -- and HR production has improved from 1.43 per game to 1.89 so far, although much of that spike would have to be attributed to the off-season addition of legitimate power hitter Michael Morse.