SI’s Jon Heyman reports that the Mets held a secret batting practice last September at Citi Field to see how the field played. David Wright, Daniel Murphy, and Nick Evans took BP and it was determined that, despite the dimensions of the field, it’s going to play as a hitter’s park.
This secret batting practice was arranged so the Mets could calculate the play of the field into their off-season decision making process. Thus, the value of ground ball pitchers like Mike Pelfrey and Derek Lowe will have in the new stadium.
Oliver Perez and Randy Wolf are both fly ball pitchers so they may be slightly downgraded versus other free agents that typically get a lot of ground balls.
From the post by Heyman:
A secret batting practice session with David Wright, Daniel Murphy and Nick Evans last September at Citifield convinced all the players that the Mets’ new home won’t be the pitching park Mets people expected, but rather a launching pad for home runs. And some within their hierarchy have used this inside knowledge to stump for Lowe, a groundball pitcher, suggesting he might work better than Oliver Perez, a flyball pitcher.
Personally, I always liked that Shea was a pitcher’s park. Several of the “new” stadiums are complete jokes, like Philly and Cincy. The games are ridiculous because of the propensity for home runs. I was really hoping that Citi Field would play similarly to Shea. Oh well, I guess that’s not going to happen.