Colorado Rockies Raise Coors Field Fences to Combat Home Runs
A surprising announcement came out of the Rockies front office today; the left field corner and right-center fences will be raised eight feet to eliminate some of the cheaper home runs that happen at Coors Field. Rockies GM Jeff Bridich used “23 years of statistics” to figure out where home runs leave Coors at a higher rate. The fences will not be in front of seating areas, as they will be put up in front of both bullpens and the tunnel down the left field line. The renovations will be completed by Apr. 8, the home opener for the Rockies.
The Denver Post’s Nick Groke asked both Carlos Gonzalez and Charlie Blackmon about their thoughts on the fence changes; CarGo said he would only have lost one home run while Blackmon would have lost a few.
The changes are intended to make Coors Field “potentially more playable and more fair – for pitchers”, according to Bridich. He also admits that they don’t know exactly the effect the raised walls are going to have. It’s an experiment to mitigate the most unique ballpark factor in baseball.
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This is the first major change the Rockies have made in the name of limiting home runs since introducing the Humidor in 2002. This change might affect the amount of home runs, but likely won’t affect the gameplay all too much. Those “cheap” home runs will turn into doubles and triples, still placing runners in scoring position. Still, a double might not lead to a run scored and drop the high Coors Field scores slightly.
Raising the walls are certainly a strange way of addressing the problem, but what other choices do they have? Expand an already massive outfield? Play five outfielders? Create a force field that gives Coors Field the atmosphere of a sea-level park while everywhere else remains the same? After hearing those ideas, it doesn’t seem so bad.
It’s good to see the Rockies are trying something new to mitigate the Coors Field affect. What do you think of the changes?
Next: Week One Spring Training Pitching Schedule
The first of eight wonderful months of baseball is upon us. The Colorado Rockies started with simulated games over the weekend and are about to start in actual games. The Rockies have two intra-squad games on Monday and Tuesday followed by a “home and home” against the Arizona Diamondbacks to kick off Spring Training. The team has released the pitching schedule for the next four days and there are a few names to keep an eye on.