There have been a lot of discussions lately about the dimensions of the Detroit Tigers’ home field, Comerica Park, but is there anything wrong with it?
After his home run last night, Miguel Cabrera was heard saying “in Detroit that’s a flyout”. This comes about a week after Nicholas Castellanos said that the Detroit Tigers’ home field, Comerica Park, was unfair to power hitters due to its vast dimensions. Last night in a post-game interview, Castellanos also said that Cabrera would have 15 home runs on the year if the dimensions were different.
Comerica’s dimensions deflate power numbers for Detroit’s players
While there is no doubt that Comerica Park is huge with its 420-foot wall in center field, this shouldn’t be a problem when it comes down to winning or losing games, given that all visiting teams will have the same advantages and disadvantages, but that doesn’t seem to be Castellanos’ problem with the park. He clearly believes that it is impacting the statistics of Detroit’s players.
Castellanos leads the American League in doubles, and it seems like he thinks a lot of those doubles and deep flyouts would have been home runs in other parks. While this may be true, thinking that this impacts trade and contract value seems silly. With the amount of analytics out there, major league teams and scouts are aware of Comerica’s depth, and probably know the exact amount of home runs they could have had playing at other ballparks.
The park should favor pitching and defense if it hurts hitting
Comerica’s dimensions also should work both ways. If they are hurting hitters, they should be helping pitchers, but Detroit ranks 27th in the MLB in team ERA and have given up 154 home runs to opposing players on the year which ranks 21st in the MLB. While it is no secret that Detroit hasn’t had the best pitching on the year, the park doesn’t seem to be doing them any favors either.
Unique ballparks are also just a part of baseball. In Boston, Castellanos could hit a ball that would be projected to go 450 feet, but it hits the 40-foot tall green monster and winds up a single, and in Yankee Stadium he could probably get a home run over the right-field wall off of what would be a broken-bat single in other parks. This is something that separates baseball from other sports in its own right and makes it enjoyable to watch games in different ballparks.
All this said, there is no doubt that Comerica will have a negative impact on power numbers for members of the Detroit Tigers. The main question then becomes: is that a bad thing? In 2019 where balls are flying out of the yard even more than they were in the steroid era, it’s almost refreshing to see more long doubles and flyouts. It also creates for some great highlight-reel plays in the outfield. So, do you think that there is a problem with Comerica Park’s dimensions?