E-MAILBAG: Ask the Reports, Wednesday May 18th
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Wednesday May 18, 2011
Q: Have the dimensions of Citi Field been to the detriment of the Mets franchise? From Yair, Bat Yam, Israel
MLB reports: Great question Yair and shalom (hell0) to you in Israel! With the lacklustre play of the Mets the last few seasons, its great to see that they still have so many fans, even internationally. Getting to your question, the topic of Citi Field has been a continuous one since its opening back in 2009. The $850 million structure replaced Shea Stadium and has not played out in the same way that new Yankee Stadium has to say the least. At a capacity of 41,800, the stadium holds 15,000 fewer fans than Shea and was meant to be more intimate. Citi Field has some interesting features in its design. Citi Field’s fences are not the same size, ranging in height from being 15 feet in left field and 18 feet in right. Shea Stadium had outfield fences that were all 8 feet in comparison. The dimensions overall are not far different from Shea, with approximately 335 feet to the field lines and 408 feet to center. Shea was never a great hitters ballpark to begin with and Citi Field is no better. I would attribute the height of the fences as being a major issue for the team in terms of hurting the amount of home runs in the park. As well, the shortage of quality hitters on the current Mets squad is the main reason for any offensive issues. As a ball park, Citi Field ranks 11th currently in terms of home runs but 27th last year. It will be interesting to see how the field plays out this season. But the bottom line, is that the Mets have the same advantages and disadvantages at Citi Field as all opposing teams. As a pitcher’s park, the team needs strong pitching and defense to remain competitive on its home turf, with good timely hitting. This may sound obvious, but team talent and not the stadium will decide the team’s fate at the end of the day.
MLB reports: Hell0 Maury and no, you cannot make this move. As much as Jeter is struggling, dropping talents like Wallace and Trumbo do not make sense at this point. Wallace is hitting .321 in 2011 with 3 home runs and .869 OPS. Trumbo, while starting to struggle somewhat with a .244 AVG has 6 home runs and 18 RBIs. If you must make this move, then drop Trumbo and grab Escobar, who is hitting .295, with 3 home runs and .775 OPS. Quality numbers for a shortstop. But Jeter is still Jeter and will rebound in my estimation. Keep plugging the Yankees captain in your lineup and expect a rebound soon.
Q: Can the Cubs please just leave Starlin Castro in a fixed spot in the lineup? Like, say, leadoff? Hitting him 3rd is (^*&&*%$! From Reuben, parts unknown
MLB reports: I can’t argue with Castro’s numbers to start the season. .327 AVG, .789 OPS, 23 runs scored, 18 runs driven in, 4 stolen bases and 6/14 BB/K ratio. As a leadoff hitter or hitting in the second slot, Castro has strong abilities to get timely hits and create runs. I couldn’t agree with you more that batting Castro in the third slot does not make sense. With one home run this year and three all of last year, the power is not there for the Cubs shortstop. The move to hit him third would be out of desperation than anything else. It is a relection on the Cubs for a lack of other options, than Castro as a new power guy. As the Cubs continue to gel through the season, expect Castro to have a permanent lineup slot soon. Leadoff appears to be most likely his destination.
Q: Do you think Aaron Hill might be enough to protect Bautista in the Jays lineup? I obviously don’t mean full protection, but maybe just enough for the Blue Jays to be a force. Another great article by the way, I enjoyed reading your feature on Jose Bautista! From Nolan, parts unknown
MLB reports: Thank you for reading the reports, I always appreciate the feedback. The Bautista article was a lot of fun to write and I enjoyed giving the readers a look into the Jays home run king (You can click to read our piece on Bautista). As far as AaRon Hill coming back and providing good protection in the lineup, I will admit that I have my doubts to say the least. Hill has missed several games this year due to injury and when he has been able to play, has hit to the tune of a .237 AVG, no home runs and .573 OPS. If you take aside 2009, Hill has never shown to be a really good hitter and in my opinion, that season has been an outlier rather than the standard. Aaron was actually the subject of the first ever article on MLB reports. If you would like to read more about Aaron and his future on the Jays, please click here. But if you want the brief synopsis: Hill is more likely a candidate for a trade/release over the next year than any guarantee of production. I do not have very much faith in him and neither should you.
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Posted on May 18, 2011, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged angels, astros, baseball, bautista, bay, castro, cubs, escobar, hill, jays, jeter, mets, mlb, trumbo, wallace, yankees. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.