How the Citi Field Dimension Changes Will Affect the New York Mets
According to EspnNewYork.com, Citi Field, the Mets' infamously pitchers-friendly ballpark, has had some major alterations done in the offseason presumably to up the Met hitters' power number especially regarding third baseman David Wright and rightfielder Jason Bay.
Wright, one of the Mets cornerstones since his arrival in 2004, hit a measly 14 home runs last season with only 5 coming at Citi Field. It is no secret that his power number have drastically decreased since the Mets moved into Citi Field from slightly less pitchers-friendly Shea Stadium in 2009. In the three seasons before the team started play at Citi Field, Wright hit 89 home runs with 50 coming at home. In the three seasons since Citi Field was built, Wright has only hit 53 home runs with a mere 22 at Citi.
In Bay's case, the change in stadium was much more drastic than the one Wright underwent. Bay played half the 2008 and the entire 2009 seasons with the Boston Red Sox, playing nearly half his games at the famed bandbox of Fenway Park. In the 200 games Bay played with Boston, he hit 45 home runs. Since joining the Mets on a 4-year, $66 million free agent contract in 2010, Jason has only hit 18 home runs in 218 games in New York.
Wright and Bay, in addition to injured first baseman Ike Davis, look to be the Mets' key run-producers for 2012 especially if star shortstop Jose Reyes leaves during free agency. The stats are undeniable that the change to Citi Field greatly diminished the power numbers of those two players and that power loss undoubtedly helped the Mets to three straight 4th-place finishes in the NL East since the inception of Citi Field as the Mets' home ballpark.
The new changes will decrease the in-play surface area of Citi Field and hopefully, at least for the Mets' sake, that will be enough of a change to regain the power of their important run-producers in David Wright, Jason Bay, among others. It was a long-overdue move by management to shrink Citi Field even as little as 2% but it was the right thing to do.
These changes will definitely help the Mets on the playing field next season and will solve the Mets hitters' problems regarding hitting home runs at Citi.