Everyone talks about moving the fences in at Citi Field, but no one analyzes it. That is until today, when Adam Rubin — with the help of Greg Rybarczyk from Hittrackeronline.com — looks into how various modifications to the dimensions of Citi Field would affect the Mets in general and David Wright — the most frequently mentioned victim of Citi Field’s caverns — in particular.
Overall, the affect on Wright would not be as dramatic as one might think if you believe the “Citi Field is killing David Wright” crowd. He probably would have had four more homers in 2009, for example. Of course, one shouldn’t focus too much on Wright anyway. As Rubin notes in the article, Sandy Alderson — who once rejiggered the fences at Petco Park — does not believe that you should build a club to cater to the ballpark. As such, altering a ballpark to cater to one player is likely seen as madness by the Mets’ brass. And I tend to agree.
Ultimately, though, home runs may not be the determining factor. Check out this line from Rybarczyk:
“It’s probably worth mentioning that the Mets could create some nice new premium seats with these changes. In the Mo’s Zone, you’d get a few more rows of seats right near the field, and in left field you could make a sort of ‘home run porch’ out in front of the existing wall, with open-air seating on top, and another area underneath with a field-level view.”
That, much more than David Wright’s happiness, is likely to get the carpenters moving on fence construction.
Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?
Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.
Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.
Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.
Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.
Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.
Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.