MLB

Blue Jays to move fences in at Rogers Centre, but raise walls, per report

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As part of ongoing renovations to their home ballpark, the Toronto Blue Jays are moving in the outfield fences at the Rogers Centre, which figures to make the venue even more accommodating for power hitters. 

According to Scott Mitchell of TSN, here’s how the fence distances in Toronto will be changing in time for the 2023 season: 

  • The center field fence distance will be reduced from 400 feet to 397 feet. 
  • The left-center power alley fence will move in from 375 feet to 366 feet. 
  • Most substantially, the fence in the right-center power alley will come in from 375 feet all the way to 357 feet. 

In terms of raw distance from home plate, those are extreme changes. However, those alterations will be partly offset by an increase in fence height of varying dimensions. For example, Shi Davidi recently reported that the fence height at the corners in front of the bullpens will increase from 10 feet to 15 feet. That said, on balance the changes figure to help the many power hitters in the Blue Jays’ lineup. 

According to Statcast, Rogers Centre over the last three seasons has played basically neutral when it comes to run-scoring levels. However, at the same time, it’s inflated home run rates by roughly 8 percent. More specifically, it’s notably benefited right-handed power hitters while actually working against those who hit from the left side. The far more friendly dimensions in the right-center power alley should be of particular benefit to offseason additions like Daulton Varsho, Brandon Belt, and Kevin Kiermaier — all of whom bat lefty.

The Jays’ lineup last season, while potent overall, was too right-handed, and those additions above have added much-needed balance to the attack. Presumably, those lefty bats will now benefit from cozier conditions at their home ballpark. 

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