Trey Mancini

Trey Mancini

1B - BAL
Height: 6-3
Weight: 230 lbs
Age: 29
College: Notre Dame
Baltimore Orioles

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The ScoreCamden Yards launched the cozy-ballpark era. Now it wants to upsize

There is a nearly universal law when it comes to ballpark evolution: Playing surfaces are shrinking.Major-league parks in the modern era, kick-started by the opening of Camden Yards 30 years ago, generally feature less square footage than the MLB homes that preceded them.And teams have tinkered with stadiums throughout baseball history, adjusting dimensions that weren't as favorable as hoped. Outfield fences have mostly been moved closer to home plate to encourage more offense.But the Baltimore Orioles announced last week that they would buck the trend and move back the left-field fence at Camden Yards.General manager Mike Elias told reporters that when he was brought in to rebuild the franchise more than three years ago, he was charged with taking a fresh look at everything, and it turns out that included the ballpark. He felt it had become an impediment to the Orioles."It is being done with the goal in mind of bringing the playing conditions more toward the league norm," Elias said last week of the change. "Since inception, it's been an extreme park for home runs. That has only grown as the style of play in the major leagues has evolved."Camden Yards in 1992. Ronald C. Modra / Getty ImagesThe space raceThe first steel-and-concrete stadiums that emerged in the early 20th century, now known as "jewel-box parks," averaged 416 feet from home plate to center field, according to data from the Clem's Baseball's stadium database. The distance averaged 407 feet in stadiums built from 1923-91 and 403 feet in the new, Camden-era ballparks.The average power-alley distances haven't changed as much - the average distance to left-center in jewel-box era parks was 377 feet, remained the same for stadiums built in the middle era, and ticked down to 373 feet in stadiums built since 1991. (The right-field gaps average 367, 372, and 374, respectively).The field dimensions of yore that made it nearly impossible for many batters to hit a ball out of the park have gone extinct. The days of distances like 483 feet to center field at the Polo Grounds, or the 457-foot, left-center power alley at the original Yankee Stadium, are over. Overall, the gap-to-gap square footage has generally fallen.It's foul territory, though, where ballparks have shrunk dramatically. Since 1992, the newest parks average 22,700 square feet of foul territory, compared to 27,900 in those parks built between 1923-91 and 28,500 square feet in the jewel-box era. That squeeze - 19% and 21% declines - reduces foul-outs and gives batters more lives at the plate.And after stadiums open, their outfield dimensions usually contract.Long since demolished stadiums like Shibe Park, Sportsman's Park, Tiger Stadium, and the original Comiskey Park and Yankee Stadium brought portions of their fences in. Fenway Park with its right-field bullpens and Wrigley Field have also reduced depths since their debuts. Dodger Stadium, the gem of the mid-century era, never changed its fences, but it did move home plate 10 feet forward in 1969. The Dodgers also eroded foul territory over the years with multiple seating additions.Shibe Park in Philadelphia, seen here during the 1929 World Series, was the first concrete-and-steel ballpark built, opening in 1909. Bettmann Archives / Getty ImagesOf the 23 modern-era parks, 10 have moved in at least part of their fences, and two, the Mets' Citi Field and the Marlins' loanDepot Park, moved in significant portions of their outfield walls twice. Three ballparks have reduced fence distance by more than 20 feet in certain areas of the outfield: Citi Field, loanDepot Park, and Comerica Park in Detroit.Only two venues have gone in the opposite direction. Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia pushed back its left-field wall a few feet in 2006, according to media reports and an analysis of the ballpark diagrams at Clem's Baseball. Coors Field in Denver also raised a portion of its right-field wall.Camden Yards' fit in Baltimore's urban grid and its retro charm changed the way ballparks were built. John Iacono / Getty ImagesBut just as the Orioles broke with convention 30 years ago by building an asymmetrical ballpark that fit within the constraints of city streets and an old railroad depot - a decision that sparked the greatest stadium boom and design change since Shibe Park opened in 1909 - they're doing it again with this latest project.Backing outThe Orioles decided to push their left-field wall back nearly 30 feet for most of its length and will also raise the wall to a height of 13 feet. Coming for the 2022 season. pic.twitter.com/axNJe1PMvX Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) January 14, 2022 Since 2008, Camden Yards leads the majors in home runs hit and homers hit by right-handed batters. The AL East is loaded with right-handed power hitters. Since the venue opened, the Orioles have been outhomered there 2,090 to 2,018. It's not hard to understand why the Orioles might want to take some juice out of their park.Elias said part of the impetus for the change is attracting pitchers to sign. While the Orioles' ownership group might not be willing to pay for aces, Camden's cramped confines reduce the club's appeal to mid-tier and reclamation arms."Part of having a winning program is the ability to recruit free-agent pitchers," Elias said. "That has been a historical challenge for this franchise. There's no way around that. I do think it will help." First look at construction on Camden Yards' new left field wall pic.twitter.com/whQSN9rgEf Orioles on MASN (@masnOrioles) January 13, 2022 Left-handed Orioles pitcher John Means is likely thrilled with the remodel. Orioles right-handed bats Ryan Mountcastle and Trey Mancini? Not so much.Elias compared the new look of left field to that of PNC Park in Pittsburgh, whose outfield dimensions will be a close comparison. The Pirates' left field is the deepest in the game in some stretches - deeper than Coors Field.PNC Park ranks 28th in home runs since 2017, ahead of only loanDepot Park, Oracle Park in San Francisco (which brought in the center-field wall in 2020, partly to relocate bullpens), and Globe Life Field, which opened in 2020. PNC and Camden Yards will still rate favorably for left-handed batters, though.Will all that jackhammering and concrete removal be worth it? Or will the Orioles change their minds in the future and be forced to fill in the dead space, like the Mets were with their left-field void?Opened in 2009, the Mets have already brought the fences in twice at Citi Field. Rob Tringali / Getty ImagesAndrew Perpetua, who previously worked as a consultant with the Mets, collected batted-ball data from Camden Yards and plotted it against the old and new dimensions of the ballpark to understand the impact of the modification.He determined that the change could eliminate around 38%-53% of home runs to left field, which would represent up to 18% of home runs park-wide."Long story short, Camden goes from a consistently top five (hitter's) park to a consistently bottom five park," Perpetua tweeted. Looking at homers in left field of Camden Yards from 2019 through 2021 and comparing to new dimensions. I made the following groups by eye, nothing scientific. 94 homers lost. 110 homers over new fences. 37 Maybes. Assume half the maybes are homers and you get a 47% reduction. pic.twitter.com/SYw5vg4tS2 Andrew Perpetua (@AndrewPerpetua) January 15, 2022 The Orioles aren't shooting for another extreme, though. Their goal is for Camden Yards to be the Switzerland of MLB.Sig Mejdal, the Orioles' assistant general manager and vice president of analytics, said the team arrived at the new dimensions with the help of a fuller set of Statcast data than the public can access."We're privy to the Statcast data, so we can model a bit better than third parties," Mejdal told reporters. "We wanted to take this step, a significant step, toward neutrality."But a significant step in favor of pitchers generally isn't popular with fans, teams, or the home team's hitters.A few months after Comerica Park opened in 2000, then-Tigers slugger Juan Gonzalez expressed his displeasure with the immense depth in left field and said moving the fences in was "a necessity." The park was part of the reason Gonzalez turned down a lucrative extension offer, as his home-run total fell to 22 that season after he'd averaged better than 40 over the previous four years with the Texas Rangers.In 2003, the Tigers brought almost all of the left-field fence in by 25 feet and relocated both bullpens to the vacated space.Citi Field debuted in 2009 with a similarly spacious left field and a wall that ranged from 12-15 feet in height, dubbed the "Great Wall of Flushing." The Mets pulled in nearly their entire outfield perimeter in 2012 and brought in some sections of the fencing again in 2015.The party deck in left field at Citi Field. Tim Clayton / Corbis Sport / Getty ImagesCiti Field's party deck is a reminder of the tens of millions of dollars spent building three decks of grandstands further away from the field than they needed to be. It's also a reminder that fans and owners have tended to prefer scoring and home runs ever since Babe Ruth began swatting them out regularly a century ago.Perhaps the Orioles can nail their attempt to cool off homers without becoming a place where fly balls go to die.Perhaps in this era of record home-run totals, there is more of an appetite for a retro style of play, trading some power for contact and sprinkling more triples into the left-center gap.Perhaps 30 years after it changed baseball, Camden Yards can do so again by providing a road map to ballpark neutrality. Perhaps it can even help the Orioles win.Travis Sawchik is theScore's senior baseball writer.Copyright © 2022 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Source: The Score
Friday, Jan 21, 2022

The Score1 player each AL team could trade

The trade market has always been a popular way for teams to improve their rosters ahead of, or during, the regular season. That shouldn't change in 2022, even with Major League Baseball's current work stoppage throwing a wrench into clubs' negotiating plans.With that being said, here are 15 American League players who could end up in different uniforms this season.For the NL list, click here.*All table stats are from 2021*Salary projections courtesy of MLB Trade RumorsBaltimore Orioles: Trey Mancini, 1B/DH Mark Brown / Getty Images Sport / GettyProjected 2022 salary: $7.9 million PA HR RBI OPS fWAR 616 21 71 .758 0.6 Trading Mancini after his well-documented recovery from colon cancer would be an unpopular decision, but the AL Comeback Player of the Year might be too expensive for the rebuilding Orioles. The 29-year-old is projected to earn $7.9 million through arbitration, which would make him appealing for a team with a larger payroll.Boston Red Sox: Bobby Dalbec, 1B G Fiume / Getty Images Sport / Getty2022 salary: $575,000 PA HR RBI OPS fWAR 453 25 78 .792 0.7 Dalbec finished strong after an inconsistent debut campaign as the Red Sox starting first baseman, but he was essentially absent from the postseason with Boston opting to play Kyle Schwarber instead. With Triston Casas close to MLB ready and the Red Sox linked to Schwarber and Freddie Freeman in free agency, now might be the time to sell high on Dalbec.Chicago White Sox: Craig Kimbrel, RP Ron Vesely / Getty Images Sport / Getty2022 salary: $16 million IP ERA FIP SV K/9 59.2 2.26 2.43 24 15.1 Kimbrel didn't pan out for the White Sox in a set-up role after they acquired him at last year's trade deadline. He's still an elite reliever, as evidenced by his 15.1 strikeouts per nine from a season ago, so a team in need of a closer could have him if they'd be willing to take on the $16 million remaining in his contract.Cleveland Guardians: Jose Ramirez, 3B Mike Stobe / Getty Images Sport / Getty2022 salary: $11 million PA HR RBI OPS fWAR 636 36 103 .893 6.3 Ramirez is owed just $25 million over the next two campaigns - if his 2023 option is exercised - and is coming off his fourth MVP-type season in the last five years. The Guardians could fetch a haul for the three-time All-Star equal to, or greater than, what they received last year for Francisco Lindor if they choose to trade him sooner rather than later.Detroit Tigers: Joe Jimenez, RP Nic Antaya / Getty Images Sport / GettyProjected 2022 salary: $1.8 million IP ERA FIP WHIP K/9 45.1 5.96 5.22 1.52 11.3 It wasn't long ago that Jimenez looked like a long-term solution at closer for the Tigers, but things changed with Gregory Soto's emergence and Michael Fulmer's successful bullpen transition. Jimenez had trouble with walks and keeping runs off the board in 2021, but he could be an affordable late-inning bargain for teams if he can rediscover his 2018 All-Star form.Houston Astros: Jake Odorizzi, SP Bob Levey / Getty Images Sport / Getty2022 salary: $5 million IP ERA FIP WHIP K/9 104.2 4.21 4.48 1.25 7.8 There isn't room for Odorizzi in the Astros' rotation with Justin Verlander returning to join Lance McCullers Jr., Framber Valdez, Luis Garcia, and Jose Urquidy in Houston's starting five. The veteran right-hander is only owed $5 million in 2022, which means he could be traded to a team in need of a starting pitcher.Kansas City Royals: Whit Merrifield, 2B Ed Zurga / Getty Images Sport / Getty2022 salary: $2.75 million PA 2B SB OPS fWAR 720 42 40 .711 3.2 Another year, another Merrifield trade rumor. Only this time, the Royals could be as serious as ever about trading the two-time All-Star who posted his lowest OPS since his rookie campaign. With that being said, he still led the AL in doubles and steals, making him a valuable trade piece for the Royals. Kansas City has younger players in Nicky Lopez, Adalberto Mondesi, and Bobby Witt Jr. ready to play regularly.Los Angeles Angels: Justin Upton, OF Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty2022 salary: $28 million PA HR RBI OPS fWAR 362 17 41 .705 0.3 The Angels don't have many valuable trade chips - at least ones they'd be willing to part with - so Upton is our choice here. A team might be interested in trading for the four-time All-Star if Los Angeles was willing to eat most of his salary or take on another bad contract.Minnesota Twins: Josh Donaldson, 3B Jonathan Daniel / Getty Images Sport / Getty2022 salary: $21 million PA HR RBI OPS fWAR 543 26 72 .827 2.2 The former AL MVP still rakes, as evidenced by his 127 OPS+ last season. But his $21-million salary is also a financial burden for the Twins, who only managed 73 wins in 2021. Minnesota is in a good position to go with a younger, more affordable team if they so choose, which makes trading the 36-year-old a likely scenario.New York Yankees: Gary Sanchez, C Elsa / Getty Images Sport / GettyProjected 2022 salary: $7.9 million PA HR RBI OPS fWAR 440 23 54 .730 1.5 Sanchez has been on shaky ground with the Yankees for more than a season, and he didn't do much to quiet the noise in 2021 after hitting .204 with a 99 OPS+. He's projected to earn $7.9 million in arbitration and still has thunder in his bat. These points make him an appealing option to clubs willing to overlook his defensive inefficiencies or who prefer to use him as a DH.Oakland Athletics: Chris Bassitt, SP Ezra Shaw / Getty Images Sport / GettyProjected 2022 salary: $8.8 million IP ERA FIP WHIP K/9 157.1 3.15 3.34 1.06 9.1 Oakland has plenty of trade chips to choose from this offseason, with Bassitt, Matt Olson, Sean Manaea, Frankie Montas, and Sean Murphy all reportedly available. With Bassitt only due $8.8 million through arbitration, there should be plenty of interest in the 32-year-old right-hander, who was in the midst of a Cy Young caliber season in 2021 before he was struck in the face by a line drive in August.Seattle Mariners: Drew Steckenrider, RP Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / GettyProjected 2022 salary: $2.1 million IP ERA FIP WHIP K/9 67.2 2.00 3.35 1.02 7.7 The Mariners appear to be more interested in adding players than subtracting them, but if they did have to deal someone, Steckenrider could go. The 31-year-old was a completely different pitcher in Seattle after a horrible 2019 campaign with the Miami Marlins, which was followed by him missing all of 2020 due to injury. With relievers so volatile and Steckenrider's $2.1-million salary so low, the Mariners have good reason to trade him now while there's a market for his services.Tampa Bay Rays: Manuel Margot, OF Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images Sport / GettyProjected 2022 salary: $5 million PA RBI SB DRS fWAR 464 57 13 13 1.4 The Rays have received trade interest in Kevin Kiermaier this offseason, but his $12-million salary may be too much for some clubs to stomach. Margot, however, is only projected to earn $5 million through arbitration and possesses similarly outstanding defensive numbers to Kiermaier - both players recorded 13 defensive runs saved in the outfield last season. Margot is also four years younger than Kiermaier.Texas Rangers: Isiah Kiner-Falefa, SS Jayne Kamin-Oncea / Getty Images Sport / GettyProjected 2022 salary: $4.9 million PA AVG RBI DRS fWAR 677 .271 53 10 2.3 Kiner-Falefa did a terrific job in his first season as Rangers shortstop, recording 10 defensive runs saved, but his time at the position is up after Texas signed Corey Seager. Kiner-Falefa could slide over to third base, but there's reported interest in him from teams in need of a shortstop, including the Yankees, so he could be dealt instead.Toronto Blue Jays: Lourdes Gurriel Jr., OF Icon Sportswire / Icon Sportswire / Getty2022 salary: $4.5 million PA HR RBI OPS fWAR 541 21 84 .785 1.5 The Blue Jays have an overabundance of outfielders. While Randal Grichuk has been a popular name tied to Blue Jays trade rumors, Gurriel has more value and could be the type of player Toronto has to move in order to make a substantial gain for its big-league roster. Gurriel is also in his prime years and ineligible for free agency until 2025.Copyright © 2022 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

Source: The Score
Friday, Jan 14, 2022


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