Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Scaling the walls: After exploring new dimensions for Busch to spur offense, Cardinals stuck with ‘golden’ rule

“We talk about this ballpark quite a bit and how it’s a pitchers’ park,” Marmol said a few hours before Thursday’s 9-0 win powered by three homers. “I think at the end of the day, it’s a mindset. We know what we’re getting into here. … If you’re mentally strong enough to know that going into it you can see the opposing club get frustrated at times. You add drilling the ball and it getting caught at the warning track. That’s normally a home run in 22 other parks. Then you add our defense to that and you can’t get away with anything? It’s a frustrating day.”

So rather than move the walls in, the Cardinals leaned in.

In this launch-angle age, a ballpark that does not reward that approach could be advantage for the lineup that knows it best.

The Cardinals tailored several of their offseason moves to their defense and the ballpark. They’re high on Sunday starter, lefty Steven Matz, because of his groundball-greedy approach and how he’ll benefit from the big ballpark. Reliever Nick Wittgren was bit by homers in 2021. The Cardinals believe his numbers will be reduced simply by transplanting him. The analytics on Drew VerHagen suggest the right-hander will thrive in Busch’s friendly non-confines. During spring training, lefty Connor Thomas impressed, and Marmol used the home ballpark to explain why.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 10, 2022 at 10:02 PM | 35 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cardinals

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. The Duke Posted: April 10, 2022 at 11:50 PM (#6071125)
The real issue is "can we attract free agent hitters" to the worst ballpark for hitters. The answer is "great hitters don't come to central division teams generally and St. Louis specifically". The ones they get come by trade. And big hitters are expensive. Signing pitching and defense is cheaper. Mostly I think they don't want to be the "worst". Oakland will move to Vegas and leave only Seattle, so I bet they will do a few things to modestly improve hitting but nothing drastic.

It's also the case that the entire MILB org is built around teaching defense so why not use that.
   2. Brian C Posted: April 11, 2022 at 07:19 PM (#6071202)
They’re high on Sunday starter, lefty Steven Matz, because of his groundball-greedy approach and how he’ll benefit from the big ballpark. Reliever Nick Wittgren was bit by homers in 2021. The Cardinals believe his numbers will be reduced simply by transplanting him.

Fun approach by the Cards here, targeting pitchers who give up a bunch of homers. Seems like that has a pretty fair chance of backfiring, pitcher's park or no. That this article was posted here after Matz got shelled by the Pirates is [chef's kiss].
   3. sunday silence (again) Posted: April 11, 2022 at 08:06 PM (#6071207)
why would a "ground ball greedy" pitcher benefit from a large park? That's a head scratcher.
   4. Brian C Posted: April 11, 2022 at 11:26 PM (#6071226)
The funny thing is that Matz isn't even all that pronounced of a groundball pitcher, and at times during his career has been a rather strong flyball pitcher.

Meanwhile, the article will also have us know that the Cards went all-out in researching why Busch is a pitchers' park (emphasis mine):

“Does it suck for hitters?” he said. “The answer is yeah. It’s tough on them.”

The question the Cardinals explored is why.

Dan Good, the Cardinals’ vice president of business development, “quarterbacked” the research, DeWitt said, and pulled together data and resources from the in-house analytics department and Major League Baseball’s expansive studies. The Cardinals looked at spray charts for all current players and overlaid the fly balls they’ve hit at Busch to see how many homers, say, they might have hit if they called Cincinnati’s small park home. The Cardinals had the ballpark measured to assure that the distances were “as built,” that 400 feet to center was actually 400 feet to center, that nine-foot walls were actually nine feet tall.

Laying the credulity on a bit thick, I'd say.
   5. Karl from NY Posted: April 12, 2022 at 03:59 PM (#6071324)
I get that. Baseball owners are so untrustworthy that I wouldn't even believe a park dimension without measuring it for myself.
   6. Brian C Posted: April 12, 2022 at 07:13 PM (#6071392)
But the reporter didn't measure it, he just reported that the Cards measured it. So if it was already untrustworthy, it still is.
   7. sunday silence (again) Posted: April 12, 2022 at 08:40 PM (#6071402)
why can't anybody simply measure it from the aerial view on google?
   8. John DiFool2 Posted: April 12, 2022 at 08:58 PM (#6071406)
I get exactly 400 feet.
   9. The Duke Posted: April 16, 2022 at 10:19 AM (#6071969)



I think it has been done
   10. The Duke Posted: April 16, 2022 at 10:20 AM (#6071970)

Fun approach by the Cards here, targeting pitchers who give up a bunch of homers. Seems like that has a pretty fair chance of backfiring, pitcher's park or no. That this article was posted here after Matz got shelled by the Pirates is [chef's kiss].
   11. The Duke Posted: April 16, 2022 at 10:21 AM (#6071971)

Fun approach by the Cards here, targeting pitchers who give up a bunch of homers. Seems like that has a pretty fair chance of backfiring, pitcher's park or no. That this article was posted here after Matz got shelled by the Pirates is [chef's kiss].
   12. The Duke Posted: April 16, 2022 at 10:22 AM (#6071972)
   13. The Duke Posted: April 16, 2022 at 10:24 AM (#6071973)
[/bbbstrong]
   14. The Duke Posted: April 16, 2022 at 10:25 AM (#6071974)

Fun approach by the Cards here, targeting pitchers who give up a bunch of homers. Seems like that has a pretty fair chance of backfiring, pitcher's park or no. That this article was posted here after Matz got shelled by the Pirates is [chef's kiss].
   15. The Duke Posted: April 16, 2022 at 10:32 AM (#6071976)
Fun approach by the Cards
   16. The Duke Posted: April 16, 2022 at 10:32 AM (#6071977)
[/Fun approach by the Cards quote]
   17. The Duke Posted: April 16, 2022 at 10:33 AM (#6071978)
Fun approach by the Cards
   18. SoSH U at work Posted: April 16, 2022 at 11:18 AM (#6071984)


   19. cardsfanboy Posted: April 16, 2022 at 11:23 AM (#6071985)


If you have a chance, I think tailoring the park to be a pitchers park is almost always the best option...

You don't want it to be Dodger/Petco extreme of course, but considering the nature of pitching, you want to give them a fair chance and hope to have your team offense show up.
   20. sunday silence (again) Posted: April 16, 2022 at 01:36 PM (#6072014)
is Duke OK?
   21. cardsfanboy Posted: April 16, 2022 at 04:30 PM (#6072036)
is Duke OK?



Yes (I think) he was trying to fix the error with formatting that was going on, apparently a mod or someone else fixed it finally.
   22. Tom Goes to the Ballpark Posted: April 16, 2022 at 04:53 PM (#6072039)
Hopefully someone was able to reboot The Duke.
   23. Moeball Posted: April 16, 2022 at 05:08 PM (#6072042)
Keep in mind, Busch in whatever version it was back in the 1990s was also considered a pitcher's park with walls that were very difficult to reach.

Then some Irish guy moved in and suddenly balls were flying way beyond the walls.
   24. cardsfanboy Posted: April 17, 2022 at 11:55 AM (#6072156)
I don't think Busch was a pitchers park after they did a remodel... It was a moderate pitchers park maybe, but you never want to play in an extreme park anyway, outside of Dodgers, no extreme park has routinely had good teams.
   25. SoSH U at work Posted: April 17, 2022 at 12:26 PM (#6072160)
no extreme park has routinely had good teams


I don't believe that. I think it's better to have an extreme pitcher's park than a hitter's one (because pitching is inherently dangerous), but the Red Sox played in the AL's best hitting park for decades, and finished over .500 for 20 straight years.
   26. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: April 17, 2022 at 04:20 PM (#6072208)
no extreme park has routinely had good teams


That just isn't true. Dodger Stadium played like the Grand Canyon back in the 60s, when they were at the peak of their success. It's still a pretty severe pitcher's park, though it gives up its fair share of dingers. Yankee Stadium was a severe pitcher's park in its first incarnation. County Stadium in Milwaukee was perhaps even more severe, and yet the Mathews-Spahn-Aaron Braves managed to win there all the time.

There's some evidence that it is uniquely difficult to win in Coors Field. But that's also a sample size of one organization. Plenty of other teams have been equally futile in neutral parks over the same period.
   27. Slivers of Maranville descends into chaos (SdeB) Posted: April 17, 2022 at 04:47 PM (#6072212)
Do the NY Giants from 1903-1924 count?
   28. sunday silence (again) Posted: April 17, 2022 at 05:35 PM (#6072222)
That just isn't true. Dodger Stadium played like the Grand Canyon back in the 60s, when they were at the peak of their success.


Also Griffith Park. Maranville mentioned Polo Grounds, one could also mention Forbes Field.

I think it's better to have an extreme pitcher's park than a hitter's one (because pitching is inherently dangerous)


There's no logic to any of this. If that was any advantage to that why wouldnt every single team be doing that?
   29. SoSH U at work Posted: April 17, 2022 at 05:47 PM (#6072228)
There's no logic to any of this. If that was any advantage to that why wouldnt every single team be doing that?


Well, for starters, they believe hitter's parks will sell more tickets, which is vastly more important to teams than a slight edge in team building.

But it absolutely stands to reason. Pitching is harmful. Every extra pitch is one more opportunity for a torn labrum or blowed up elbow. Limiting the number of pitches a team's guys throw will have benefits somewhere down the line, either in injury prevention or just in how worn down they get over the course of the season.
   30. cardsfanboy Posted: April 17, 2022 at 06:07 PM (#6072230)
but the Red Sox played in the AL's best hitting park for decades, and finished over .500 for 20 straight years.


What stretch was that? Not defending my half ass comment, but when did the Red Sox go 20 straight years over .500? Looking at their franchise page and I seem to be missing that streak.
   31. sunday silence (again) Posted: April 17, 2022 at 06:50 PM (#6072246)
Limiting the number of pitches a team's guys throw will have benefits somewhere down the line, either in injury prevention or just in how worn down they get over the course of the season.


it would help the visiting teams almost as much, no?
   32. SoSH U at work Posted: April 17, 2022 at 07:10 PM (#6072249)
What stretch was that? Not defending my half ass comment, but when did the Red Sox go 20 straight years over .500? Looking at their franchise page and I seem to be missing that streak.


Sorry, I missed the 83 season. They were over .500 or better from 67 to 86, with one exception (83). So, they were over .500 for 15 straight. Which is plenty enough time to be consistently good (in addition to the other teams mentioned that defy your comment). They've been pretty consistently good since 1967, with just a few wobbly years in there.

it would help the visiting teams almost as much, no?


Sure, but the advantage is spread out over 14 or more different teams, so no opponent is going to benefit like the home team would.

The Rockies pitchers are not going to get much of an advantage from this effect because they get nine games a year in Petco.
   33. sunday silence (again) Posted: April 17, 2022 at 07:19 PM (#6072254)
but the effect might be diluted too. For instance in high scoring games presumably you would go through more pitchers. So your team did throw more total pitches, but that tends to be distributed to more pitchers. I cant imagine this is much of an effect. Surely there's no reference for that?
   34. SoSH U at work Posted: April 17, 2022 at 07:28 PM (#6072258)
For instance in high scoring games presumably you would go through more pitchers. So your team did throw more total pitches, but that tends to be distributed to more pitchers.


Of course, but it's still more pitches. More pitches is more opportunities for a trip to today's Dr. Jobe.

I doubt it's a great effect. But I can't see how it wouldn't be something over time. Pitching is harmful. More pitching is more harmful. If you're going to build a ballpark with nothing but maximizing your team's chances of winning in mind, I can't see how you wouldn't be better off in a place that automatically reduces the workload of your most vulnerable assets.
   35. sunday silence (again) Posted: April 17, 2022 at 08:52 PM (#6072279)
well that's logical, sure. But is there evidence that pitchers throw more pitches in low scoring environments? so that whatever savings you might get is lost. Im thinking about the low scoring 60s when lots of top pitchers threw 300 inn.

Its hard to control for a lot of factors, cause pitchers just dont pitch as many inn. now. But looking at AL from the 1950s there's usually 5 guys or so who pitch 250 inn. or more In the late 50s more like 2 or 3. But by the late 60s you see 8-9 guys, and 11 in 1969 who hit 250 or more.

13 in 1971. 17 in '72/73. 22 in 74. Even though scoring is now up, I guess it takes a few years for all these trends to have knock on effects. So '75 you have 17; '74: 14. 12 by 1980 (4 of them right at 250)

I havent done any systematic study but its some evidence that pitchers will simply stay in longer if they're pitching in a low run environment. So maybe its a wash?

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Sheer Tim Foli
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOMNICHATTER for the week of August 8-15, 2022
(47 - 8:44am, Aug 09)
Last: Buck Coats

Newsblog2022 NBA Playoffs thread
(4087 - 8:35am, Aug 09)
Last: spivey

NewsblogNationals burned by quirky 'fourth-out rule' as Pirates score despite lining into inning-ending double play
(67 - 8:31am, Aug 09)
Last: Buck Coats

NewsblogEjected Twins manager Rocco Baldelli blasts overturned call in loss to Jays as 'one of the worst moments' of umpiring he has ever seen
(20 - 8:24am, Aug 09)
Last: dave h

Sox TherapyDead Line
(29 - 8:14am, Aug 09)
Last: jacksone (AKA It's OK...)

NewsblogRed Sox announcer and Hall of Famer Dennis Eckersley to retire from NESN after the 2022 season
(11 - 7:48am, Aug 09)
Last: Captain Joe Bivens, Pointless and Wonderful

NewsblogSt. Louis Cardinals, Chicago Cubs to play 2-game series in June of 2023 in London
(30 - 7:02am, Aug 09)
Last: Cooper Nielson

NewsblogThis angle of Mets closer Edwin Díaz's absolutely electric bullpen entrance is so darn awesome
(5 - 6:47am, Aug 09)
Last: Cooper Nielson

Gonfalon CubsI guess we're still doing this?
(49 - 5:48am, Aug 09)
Last: McCoy

NewsblogJarren Duran misplays two fly balls, shouts at fans in Red Sox vs. Royals game
(9 - 4:44am, Aug 09)
Last: TVerik - Dr. Velocity

NewsblogThe Padres Go for Broke With a Roster of Superstars
(2 - 4:19am, Aug 09)
Last: TVerik - Dr. Velocity

NewsblogPete Rose brushes off question about alleged sex with minor: ‘It was 55 years ago, babe’
(77 - 2:35am, Aug 09)
Last: Hank Gillette

NewsblogFangraphs: Jacob deGrom Is Back
(1 - 12:33am, Aug 09)
Last: Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb

NewsblogMiguel Cabrera of Detroit Tigers clarifies stance on future, says he'll return next season as initially planned
(11 - 10:10pm, Aug 08)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogMariners add a free agent: Tucker, the clubhouse dog
(3 - 7:59pm, Aug 08)
Last: A triple short of the cycle

Page rendered in 0.5091 seconds
45 querie(s) executed