It might seem a little easier to hit a home run in Angel Stadium this season than it did in 2013, but it won’t be.
The dimensions of the outfield wall remain exactly the same as last season. But the team has moved the location of several distance markers on the wall laterally, giving some the impression that the fences were moved in and causing confusion for fans who noticed the changes during Saturday night’s exhibition game against the Dodgers.
For instance, the distance marker in straight-away left field went from 365 feet in 2013 to 347 feet this season. The marker in straight-away right field went from 365 feet to 348 feet, and the one in center field went from 400 feet to 396 feet.
“But nothing has changed,” said Eric Kay, the team’s director of communications. “The positioning of the numbers on the wall have moved — the ones in left and right field are tighter to the lines — and the placement is reflected in the actual distance in those spots. It’s confusing, but it’s just a change in angle.”
Perhaps the new distance markers will give hitters some kind of psychological boost. Angel Stadium is known as a pitcher’s park, and hitters often complain about the marine layer that seems to knock down long drives during night games early and late in the season.
Teams combined to hit 157 home runs in Angel Stadium last season, an average of 1.94 a game, which ranked ninth among American League parks.