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Juiced Baseballs Newsbeat

Monday, May 13, 2019

Triple-A batters smashing it since MLB ball is put into play

Balls are flying out of Triple-A ballparks like never before, coinciding with a switch in baseballs to the major league model.

The El Paso Chihuahuas have hit 89 home runs in their first 37 games — the most in professional baseball and more than half the 142 they slugged in 139 games last season. The Rochester Red Wings and Lehigh Valley IronPigs combined for 15 homers in a game last month. Overall, 26 of the 30 teams in the Pacific Coast League and International League are on pace to exceed their 2018 totals, most by a wide margin.

Not coincidentally, this is the first year Triple-A has played with the same ball used in the majors. The big league ball is said to be harder, more tightly wound at its core and with slightly lower seams, all of which make it more aerodynamic than the ball used at the Double-A level and lower and previously in Triple-A.

Bigger offensive numbers were expected when Major League Baseball requested the highest level of the minor leagues switch to balls to more closely align with conditions in the big leagues.

So, how long before we get a revival of Home Run Derby?

QLE Posted: May 13, 2019 at 04:19 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: home run spike, juiced baseballs, triple a

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Jon Lester is convinced MLB ball is juiced, but he’s pitching better than ever

Let’s set the scene: Less than a half hour after the Cubs doused Kris Bryant with Gatorade after his walk-off heroics, Jon Lester sat at the podium in the warm and cozy press room deep inside Wrigley Field after he battled the Marlins on a May 7 evening that felt more like Feb. 7 with a 31-degree windchill.

Lester had just battled the wintry conditions and won and the Cubs had just celebrated a clutch hit from their slow-starting former MVP, yet the third question posed to the veteran pitcher was about the state of the baseball MLB continues to run out and if he thinks they’re different than normal.

There’s a lot of talk about how the baseball is “juiced” this year and the evidence supports it. The weather has yet to turn favorable for hitters, but that isn’t stopping MLB sluggers from mashing the most homers per game ever.

In 2019, MLB teams are averaging 1.30 homers per game, up from 1.26 in 2017 and the 1.17 average in 2000.

Well, yes- it’s only a problem if the batters can hit them….

 

QLE Posted: May 08, 2019 at 04:15 AM | 49 comment(s)
  Beats: jon lester, juiced baseballs

Saturday, May 04, 2019

David Price wants MLB to “come clean” on the juiced baseballs

We’ve talked a lot about juiced baseballs over the past couple of years. The evidence that the seams are shorter and that the ball has less drag on it is pretty clear and the numbers are undeniable.

March/April 2019 witnessed more homers — 1144 — than any month in baseball history. On a per game average, that comes out to 2.62 per game, which is one of the highest rates for a month in Major League history. Keep in mind, of course, that the first month of the season usually sees the lowest home run rates of the year due to the cold weather. It’s only going to get worse. Or better, depending on what you think of homers.

You know who doesn’t like home runs? Pitchers. And one pitcher really wants Major League Baseball to own up to the juiced baseballs.

I forget- does anyone still really dig the long ball at this point?

QLE Posted: May 04, 2019 at 04:39 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: david price, juiced baseballs

Friday, April 19, 2019

MLB’s juiced baseball is juicing Triple-A home run totals

There has been considerable evidence amassed over the past year or two that the baseball used by Major League Baseball has a lower aerodynamic profile, leading to less drag, which leads directly to more home runs. If you doubted that at all, get a load of what is happening in Triple-A right now.

The minors have always had different balls than the majors. The MLB ball is made in Costa Rica at a Rawlings facility. The minor league balls are made in China. They use slightly different materials and, by all accounts, the minor league balls do not have the same sort of action and do not travel as far as the big league balls. Before the season, as Baseball America reported, Major League Baseball requested that Triple-A baseball switch to using MLB balls. The reason: uniformity and, one presumes, more accurate analysis of performance at the top level of the minor leagues.

So, does this mean they all ought to be put in a humidor?

 

QLE Posted: April 19, 2019 at 09:41 PM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: juiced baseballs, triple a

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Moonshot: The Baseball Is Juiced (Again)

Before home run explosion over the last few years, no one worried too much about the baseball’s air resistance. While MLB and Rawlings (the company that manufactures the official baseballs) kept track of dozens of metrics to make sure that the ball was consistent from month to month, they didn’t measure drag.

But drag is incredibly important in determining how likely a hitter is to knock one out of the park. As baseballs become more aerodynamic, they travel further given a certain initial velocity.

Hank Gillette Posted: April 10, 2019 at 07:56 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: juiced baseballs

Saturday, April 06, 2019

Study Shows MLB Baseballs Are Still Juiced and That’s a Good Thing

A few years ago, baseball fans were hit with a persistent rumor that the baseballs were juiced, hence the increased number of homers and the skyrocketing distance of each blast. You may recall this initial chatter coming to a head during the wild, dinger-replete 2017 World Series.

MLB denied the initial claim, of course, but after a study, it was determined that the ball did have an impact on the explosion of home runs in 2017.

Well, it…seems as if the balls may be juiced again, because we’ve seen a flurry of home runs a week into the regular season.

Question: If we were to return to the deadball era, would that help improve the game, or would the unintended consequences be fatal?

 

QLE Posted: April 06, 2019 at 07:59 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: juiced baseballs

 

 

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