Orioles altering Camden Yards to cut back on left field home runs

Camden Yards is one of only eight ballparks with a wall shorter than 8 feet in left and has the shortest wall in left-center field of any venueGETTY IMAGES

The Orioles began construction this week "to alter" Oriole Park at Camden Yards’ left-field dimensions to "try to reduce the stadium’s propensity for home runs,” according to Nathan Ruiz of the BALTIMORE SUN. The changes -- the first to the size of the ballpark’s playing area in two decades -- will “raise the wall’s height from 7 feet to about 12 feet and move it back as much as 30 feet.” Camden Yards’ 333-foot distance from home plate to the left-field corner “was about average” for the 30 MLB ballparks, though its 364-foot distance to left-center was “one of the league’s most reachable” for batters. Oriole Park was “one of only eight ballparks” with a wall shorter than 8 feet in left and had the shortest wall in left-center field of any venue. A 12-foot left-field wall would be tied for the sixth-tallest in the majors. Construction is "expected to be complete” by Opening Day. The Orioles’ baseball operations and analytics departments have been working to find a way to make the ballpark “more balanced” for pitchers and hitters and determined the changes to left field “would best allow” for that outcome, with moving back home plate also among the considerations. While Camden Yards will “remain a hitters’ park,” the hope is for the changes to “prevent it from being an outlier” in terms of home runs. The club has informed Birdland Members in the affected sections of the changes (BALTIMORE SUN, 1/12).

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