The other day, in the same conversation in which he mentioned that the Mets weren’t going to spend big this winter, Mets GM Sandy Alderson talked about bringing in the fences at Citi Field. Specifically in right-center field.
This wouldn’t be the first time the Mets brought the fences in — they did so prior to both the 2011 and 2012 seasons — but it didn’t really help all that much before. The park got a little more home run friendly, but the offensive environment still favored pitchers overall. Terry Collins was asked about the possibility of the yet unspecified changes to right-center yesterday. He likes the idea:
“I think it’s going to help us a little bit confidence-wise when you get in that batter’s box and say, ‘Hey, look, I can use the field and do some damage here,’ because that’s what a lot of guys in this lineup are paid to do, and that’s get big hits. I think it would be great for us.”
That works both ways, of course, as the opposing team is aided too. In the past several years, Mets hitters simply haven’t been good enough as a group to take as much advantage of those changes as the visitors have. Although it’s probably worth noting that the Mets’ pitching is only getting better and that may neutralize such differential advantages.
Marc Carig of Newsday talks about what potential changes could mean for the Mets this offseason, noting that reducing that distance to right-center could mean improvements for Curtis Granderson and David Wright. And such improvements would help make up for the fact that, no, the Mets don’t plan on spending a lot of money this winter.
Here’s a crazy idea: make the park better for existing players AND get some better players too. Unless those are mutually-exclusive efforts for reasons that aren’t apparent.