Is it time to think about bringing in the fences at Citi Field?

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After noting that the Mets, if healthy, will have a lot of guys with some power, Bob Klapisch offers a suggestion:

The Mets don’t appear to be close to any significant upgrades in their starting rotation, so if they want to improve their
run-differential why not maximize their HR quotient by reconfiguring
the ballpark?  Doing so would ensure that Bay remains a 30-homer threat, and more importantly, would give Wright a much-needed helping hand . . .

. . . Will it happen? It’s not impossible. Officials plan to see how Bay and
Wright fare in 2010 before bringing in the fences. Wright, in
particular, will be watched closely: With Bay hitting behind him, he’ll
get better pitches to hit and should return to his 33-home run form in
2008.

This seems way, way, way premature to me.  As has been noted by many, you can’t get a good read on how a park plays after only one season.  It usually takes three years for people who care about things like park factors to get reliable data.

As Klapisch notes, David Wright only hit five homers on the road, and that suggests that it wasn’t just architecture that led to his power outage.  Even if the park caused Wright to do silly things, isn’t it worth trying to fix Wright’s swing before calling in the contractors.

Justin Turner is a postseason monster

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A not-insignificant amount of the Dodgers’ success in recent years has to do with the emergence of Justin Turner. In his first five seasons with the Orioles and Mets, he was a forgettable infielder who had versatility, but no power. The Mets non-tendered him after the 2013 season, a move they now really regret.

In four regular seasons since, as a Dodger, Turner has hit an aggregate .303/.378/.502. His 162-game averages over those four seasons: 23 home runs, 36 doubles, 83 RBI, 80 runs scored. And he’s also a pretty good third baseman, it turns out. The Dodgers have averaged 95 wins per season over the past four years.

Turner, 32, has gotten better and better with each passing year. This year, he drew more walks (59) than strikeouts (56), a club only five other players (min. 300 PA) belonged to, and he trailed only Joey Votto (1.61) in BB/K ratio (1.05). He zoomed past his previous career-high in OPS, finishing at .945. His .415 on-base percentage was fourth-best in baseball. His batting average was fifth-best and only nine points behind NL batting champion Charlie Blackmon.

It doesn’t seem possible, but Turner has been even better in the postseason. He exemplified that with his walk-off home run to win Game 2 of the NLCS against the Cubs. Overall, entering Wednesday night’s action, he was batting .363/.474/.613 in 97 postseason plate appearances. In Game 4, he went 2-for-2 with two walks, a single, and a solo home run. That increases his postseason slash line to .378/.495/.659, now across 101 plate appearances. That’s a 1.154 OPS. The career-high regular season OPS for future first-ballot Hall of Famer Albert Pujols was 1.114 in 2008, when he won his third career MVP Award. Statistically, in the postseason, Turner hits slightly better than Pujols did in the prime of his career. Of course, we should adjust for leagues and parks and all that, but to even be in that neighborhood is incredible.

In the age of stats, the concept of “clutch” has rightfully eroded. We don’t really allow players to ascend to godlike levels anymore like the way we did Derek Jeter, for instance. (Jeter’s career OPS in the playoffs, by the way, was a comparatively pitiful .838.) Turner isn’t clutch; he’s just a damn good hitter whose careful approach at the plate has allowed him to shine in the postseason and the Dodgers can’t imagine life without him.