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.
The Cardinals went from winning 100 games last season to 82 entering Wednesday evening’s game, and they might not even make the playoffs. Still, the organization will bring back manager Mike Matheny for the 2017 season, Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Owner Bill DeWitt, Jr. said, “Mike’s done a really good job for us. There’s no thought that we’re going to go in any different direction.”
GM John Mozeliak also expressed his support, saying, “Mike takes a lot of heat, and I’ve defended him and I will continue to. I really feel like some of the things that we’re dealing with aren’t fair to put on the manager.”
Mozeliak continued, “I do feel like all of us are always held accountable for what we do here, so there’s nobody excluded from that. But having said that, I don’t look at him as someone that we are where we are because of that.”
Matheny has received criticism for his bullpen usage, but the Cardinals have only 15 blown saves as a team, the fourth-lowest total in baseball this season.
The Phillies’ bullpen led to yet another loss on Tuesday. Severino Gonzalez, Luis Garcia, Joely Rodriguez, and David Hernandez combined to allow six runs in five innings, allowing the Braves to come back and win 7-6 after falling behind 6-0 after the first two innings.
The game prior, the Phillies’ bullpen surrendered 14 runs in four innings in a 17-0 loss to the Mets. The game before that, the bullpen yielded four runs in four innings, nearly squandering the Phillies’ 10-0 lead after four innings. And last Thursday, the Phillies had taken an 8-6 lead in the top of the 11th, but Edubray Ramos served up a walk-off three-run home run to Asdrubal Cabrera. It’s been a tough month.
Manager Pete Mackanin ripped the bullpen when speaking to the media after Tuesday’s game. Via Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly:
Neris was going to close for us. I thought about using him with two outs in the eighth. But, at some point, somebody else has to do a (bleeping) job. Somebody else has to (bleeping) step up. In two games now, every reliever I brought in has given up a (bleeping) run. That’s unheard of.
The Phillies currently own the fourth-worst bullpen ERA in baseball at 4.97. Only the Rockies (5.12), Reds (5.07), and Diamondbacks (4.98) have been worse.
In fairness to the bullpen, aside from Jeanmar Gomez (who lost his job as closer earlier this month) and free agent signee David Hernandez, the bullpen is intentionally comprised of young, inexperienced pitchers as the Phillies are still rebuilding. If the Phillies were aiming for a playoff spot, it would be one thing, but the struggles are to be expected when one throws 24-year-olds into the deep end.