Bllomberg Sport’s blog here at MLBlogs evaluates the evidence surrounding Joe Mauer’s power outage.
Target Field’s low home run
rate and the new approach by pitchers may be hurting Mauer’s home run numbers.
But the statistical variation in his HR/FB rate also helps explains the drastic
difference between 2009 and 2010. That rate suggests that Mauer’s MVP-type
numbers may have been affected by a statistical outlier, and that fans and
teams may have to reassess their expectations for Mauer’s power numbers. In
regards to how pitchers are approaching Mauer, it seems unlikely that the
recent adjustments can explain this year’s low home run total, as he has been a
top player in the league since 2004, and pitchers have been adjusting to his
tendencies every year. Meanwhile, Target Field has been playing like a large shopping
mall – but it does not explain Mauer’s low road home run total, or the fact
that he has yet to hit any homers at home.
Expect a middle ground to
emerge between the home run binge Mauer showed last season and the drought he’s
experienced in 2010.
Nick notes that Joe Mauer’s power output is down from last season, at least in terms of his home run total. On the other hand, his doubles are up, meaning that Mauer is still hitting long drives to the outfield, but they aren’t leaving the ‘yard. He wisely observed that this might be the case when writing about Mauer before the start of the season.
“Just Enough” home
– Means the ball cleared the fence by less than 10 vertical feet,
OR that it landed less than one fence height past the fence. These are the ones
that barely made it over the fence. [Emphasis added.]
The Minnesota Twins opened their seven-game West Coast road trip with a 5-4 victory over the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
Despite Derek Jeter’s solo shot, which powered the Yankees to a win over the Twins in the conclusion of Tuesday’s suspended game (boo, hiss,boooo), Target Field has played like a pitchers’ park so far this season, earning comparison to CitiField, the home of the New York Mets.
A team-commissioned climate study indicates the Minneapolis stadium should favor pitchers early in the season because the wind tends to blow in from left field, then left-handed hitters should benefit when patterns shift during the summer.
Target Field’s right-field (fair) pole sitting kestral has gotten a name, Kirby, and now a little fame, appearing at USA Today’s “Daily Pitch” blog, along with some video highlights of his performance.