Could-have-been homers in 2012

Oct 2, 2012, 8:06 PM | Updated: Oct 3, 2012, 11:03 am

By Gary Hill

The Mariners have decided to move in the walls at Safeco Field. The move will surely be warmly embraced by a giddy group of M’s hitters.

How much effect will tugging the walls closer have? It is a difficult question to answer and only time will tell. However, after pouring over the spray charts for every Mariner at Safeco Field in 2012, several hit balls can get branded with the new would-have-been-out label.

In reality, the entire list of hit balls probably would not have left the yard, but it is reasonable to expect that a good deal of them would. When overlaying the new dimensions with the old, the following hit balls would have a great chance to be homers with the fresh scale.

Jesus Montero

• 343, single to dead left
• 385, double to left-center
• 340, fly out to left
• 403, double to center

Justin Smoak

• 366, fly out to left
• 360, fly out to left
• 390, fly out to right-center

Michael Saunders

• 346, double to left
• 392, fly out to right-center

Franklin Gutierrez

• 331, double to dead left
• 403, triple to center
• 391, fly out to right-center

Miguel Olivo

• 330, double to dead left
• 371, double to left-center
• 400, fly out to center

Alex Liddi

• 393, fly out to right-center

John Jaso

• 375, double to left-center

Casper Wells

• 390, double to left-center
• 390, fly out to left-center

Mike Carp

• 368, double to left-center

Dustin Ackley

• 400, double to center
• 373, fly out to left-center

There are 22 hit balls on the list that would have a great shot to go out with the new dimensions. To put that in perspective, the Mariners hit 54 homers at home this year, which 27th is baseball. They hit 93 home runs on the road in 2012, which is sixth in MLB.

The Mariners scored the seventh-most runs in baseball on the road. They were dead last in runs at home by almost 50. The road numbers would suggest they are a more capable offensive team than they have shown at home.

Perhaps the most important aspect of moving in the fences cannot be measured with numbers. The vast difference in production between home and road measures more than several long fly balls that die at the warning track. It is about comfort and confidence at Safeco Field.

Safeco Field will be much more of a fair park to hit in moving forward and we will see if the changes can lift some of the lingering offensive frustration.

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Could-have-been homers in 2012