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Jason Kubel on Target Field

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#1 Parker Hageman

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 09:44 PM

This is the same song-different verse on the way Target Field plays, but to put it on the record, here's what former Twin Jason Kubel says about the downtown park:

He's hoping he can make some noise at the plate, particularly now that he's out of Target Field, the Minnesota Twins' open-air stadium that's entering its third year of play.
<snip>

"It seemed like at times it was tougher to see," Kubel said. "They had some pretty good shadows out there. It can play pretty big.

"I made some adjustments, but I made them a year later. Not trying to pull the ball and put it in the air so much. Start hitting line drives all over the place."


#2 Fanatic Jack

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 09:48 PM

Simply stated Target Field needs to move their fences in to benefit the left-handed hitters we have in our lineup. It was built for Mauer & Morneau not our mediocre pitching staff. Kubel is too nice to say anything negative about the ballpark but mistakes were clearly made.

Edited by Fanatic Jack, 04 March 2012 - 09:53 PM.


#3 peterb18

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 10:08 PM

Agree with Fanatic Jack! The center right wall is too high--needs to be adjusted. Also, it will be hard to keep a left- handed power hitter in the system. Why would such a player want to play there with such an obstacle. The hitter has to adjust his swing to much. Kubel says it like it is.

#4 jlovren

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Posted 04 March 2012 - 10:58 PM

I think the park plays more for spray hitters and OBP guys. It's up to the front office to get guys who are more suited for that type of game. Guys who can hit to the opposite field gaps would have career years in our park.

#5 Fanatic Jack

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 05:13 AM

The front office refuses to spend money to attract quality players and now won't make simple adjustments to a beautiful ballpark. This is all done to appease Baker, Liriano, and Pavano. These guys will all be gone next season.

#6 diehardtwinsfan

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 06:04 AM

I'm not sure I get this debate. The park may be hard on hitters, but it's supposedly a benefit to the pitchers. I don't think it's wise to start altering dimensions simply b/c a few guys don't like them... makes little sense, and I'd add that oppsing hitters teed off at TF far more than our guys... Perhaps there's something to be said that it's mental?

#7 Seth Stohs

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 07:37 AM

Rene Tosoni didn't seem to have a a problem hitting a few HR to right centerfield. Other team's hitters hit their fair share.

#8 Todd G

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 08:06 AM

Rene Tosoni didn't seem to have a a problem hitting a few HR to right centerfield. Other team's hitters hit their fair share.


Bingo. How tough was it on Thome?

#9 dave_dw

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 08:36 AM

In 2011 Target Field finished 20th in HR's ahead of places parks including Tropicana Field, Fenway Park, and Busch Stadium. I don't think anyone would complain that those parks are harder to hit homers at, and those three teams have better offenses than the Twins did last year. It's mostly mental, which is why bringing in a guy like Josh Willingham (who hit 15 homers at the Coliseum last year) will bring in a different mentality since he know he can hit homers anywhere, just like Thome did.

#10 Natron

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 08:48 AM

I'm not buying it.

I can't. I just can't.

#11 woolhouse

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 09:26 AM

I'm not buying it.

I can't. I just can't.


I'll see your Matt Tolbert Target-Field homerun and raise you an Alexi Casilla...

http://mlb.mlb.com/v...454727&c_id=mlb

#12 Teflon

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 10:18 AM

While there was a big discrepancy in home-road HR splits in 2010, it shrunk considerably in 2011. In 2010 the Twins hit 52 HR at home and 90 away while the pitchers surrendered 64 at home and 91 on the road. The totals were 116 homers at Target Field and 181 away. (65 fewer HR at Target Field -35.1%) In 2011 the Twins hit 46 at home and 57 away and surrendered in 80 at home and 81 on the road. The totals were 126 homers at Target Field and 138 away. (12 fewer HR -8.7%) While the change in the HRs hit by Twins batters could somehow reflect a different approach at the plate, the change in HRs surrendered by the Twins pitchers would be harder to explain. It simply appears that Target Field played much bigger in 2010 than in 2011. It will be interesting to see the totals in 2012.

#13 Guest_@_2244_*

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 10:26 AM

Simply stated Target Field needs to move their fences in to benefit the left-handed hitters we have in our lineup. It was built for Mauer & Morneau not our mediocre pitching staff. Kubel is too nice to say anything negative about the ballpark but mistakes were clearly made.


Move the fence in to accommodate a Punch & Judy lineup? The only purpose this would serve would be to widen the gap even further between the Twins current lineup and the opposition. The last thing this team needs is to make it easier to hit the ball out of Target Field. As far as I can tell, moving the fences in would make it just as easier for opponents to leave Target Field as it would the home team.

Here's an idea: Wanna hit more home runs? Get some better hitters!

#14 twinsfiend

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 10:44 AM

Now that is silly. The front office didn't build the ballpark to appease any pitchers on our staff. They kept the dimensions very similar to the Metrodome. No one knew how this field was gonna play until games were played their. Personally, I think the allys are too deep, but it is what it is. Its not gonna be cheap to change the dimensions if they do it right, and I don't think its something they should jump into too quickly. I also don't like the silly itty bitty parks (like Houston's park, which I don't know what to call, cuz its name changes every 10 seconds). Look at some of the nice newer parks in the league that aren't hitter friendly, like in SF, and SD. Those are great parks too. SF just won a World Series in theirs, no reason we can't win in ours.
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#15 Steve Lein

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 10:44 AM

I think the issue with Target Field is simply all the guys who seemingly "struggled" there, were brought up playing in the Metrodome which was much more hitter friendly. If a guy's used to the ball going out when it's hit a certain way, then suddenly the environment changes and those same balls are no longer going out, of course they're going to think about it. Tosoni and Parmelee are examples of players who didn't play in the dome so they didn't think about these things and just swing like they always have.

Scouting Report: Power: 30, Hitting: 50, Arm: 60, Defense: 40, Speed: 40. "Line drive swing and shows good contact and on-base abilities. Double's power at his peak. Strong arm from 2B or the OF, stiff hands. Not a fast runner, but above average instincts on the bases. Skinny body doesn't look the part, but can sneak up on you. ACL surgery sapped much of his athleticism." (Probably)


#16 StormJH1

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 10:50 AM

This debate is ridiculous. Yes, you can look at virtually any hitter's numbers for the Twins (including even Delmon's 2010 career year) and it seems as if the Twins hitters do better on the road than at home. But, so what? I think it's pretty clear the park trends towards being a pitcher's park. But BOTH teams play at the park. And whether the Twins are winning their division (2010) or losing 99 games (2011), OTHER teams were hitting more HR's against the Twins than the Twins were hitting both home and away. This team does not target pure power hitters, favoring "toolsy" guys at many positions where other teams would employ a "Dan Uggla" over an "Alexei Casilla", or even a "Matt Wieters" over a "Joe Mauer". Therefore, even if we concede that Target Field favors pitchers, why on Earth would we want to move the fences IN when we the Twins almost ALWAYS have less powerful lineups than their opponents? Mauer's grounders up the middle or 200-ft doubles into the gaps wouldn't even be home runs in some little league parks, but I'd be willing to bet guys like Bautista, Adrian Gonzalez, and Mark Texiera would benefit from having a few more of those warning track shots end up in the stands. Also, on a different note, I was looking for data on this, but I do not believe that Target Field (due to its somewhat cramped surroundings) has a particularly large area of foul territory, which favors hitters in different ways.

#17 Mr. Ed

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 10:57 AM

Should have left the trees in. Or get better pitchers.

#18 jlovren

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 10:58 AM

Therefore, even if we concede that Target Field favors pitchers, why on Earth would we want to move the fences IN when we the Twins almost ALWAYS have less powerful lineups than their opponents? Mauer's grounders up the middle or 200-ft doubles into the gaps wouldn't even be home runs in some little league parks, but I'd be willing to bet guys like Bautista, Adrian Gonzalez, and Mark Texiera would benefit from having a few more of those warning track shots end up in the stands.


Agreed. The Twins do not have a power hitting team so the park actually favors the Twins.

#19 Cody Christie

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 11:08 AM

The Twins will also be able to continue to build teams that fit the style of their park. Not sure if that is a good thing but they know what they have now and will be able to plan for the future.

#20 Mr. Ed

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 11:08 AM

Parmelee didn't have trouble hitting 2 of his 4 dingers at TField. The Metrodome fed boys have to change the mindset.

#21 Alex

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 01:49 PM

Well, if you haven't seen this, it would give you an additional perspective for a couple of those that have complained about it:

http://www.fangraphs...er-like-cheese/

So, Kubel and Cuddyer pay have been being hit by two factors at once. They were playing in a more pitcher friendly park and they were on the downward side of their power peaks.

Ironically, in the first season at Target Field, I remember Cuddyer had been pretty vocal this issue early on. At the time he had only five HR (or something like that) and every one had come at Target field.

From everything I've read (analysis of the same hitters at various parks) the park is pitcher friendly but not quite to the extent that people seem concerned about it.

Parker did a great analysis (http://www.startribu.../131334289.html) of what kinds of hitters could be more likely to see success in Target Field. You should read it if you haven't!

The fact is, too, that besides Twins playing at Target Field, the sample size is pretty small still. It may be need a couple more seasons before it can be said just how pitcher friendly it is.

#22 Harrison Greeley III

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 02:07 PM

The key is that out of town scoreboard in right center. You really have to get every stitch of the ball like Jim Thome would to hit it out of there. I remember last year when Prince Fielder hit a really good line shot that would have been out in probably 26 other parks in the league. He watched it and walked. Then he jolted into a sprint to get to 2nd base when he realized it didn't have the height for that part of the park. I'm fine keeping the dimensions where they are, but now this team has to get right handed. It's a lot easier to deposit a ball over that Budweiser sign than get it over the limestone or the scoreboard. That's a huge reason as to why they got so badly outhomered at home last year. They had one right-handed slugger in Cuddyer. Most teams had more than that. Willingham was a good start, and platooning Plouffe against lefties provides some right handed pop as well. Hopefully Benson, Hicks, and Sano are developing an ability to turn on pitches

#23 Nick Nelson

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 02:50 PM

I'm in agreement with those saying that the Twins are built to succeed in a pitcher-friendly park. They don't have the kind of lineup that's going to hit for big power even if the fences are moved in by 10 feet, but their pitch-to-contact staff is certainly helped out by dimensions.

#24 wblmayo24

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Posted 05 March 2012 - 04:04 PM

Now that is silly. The front office didn't build the ballpark to appease any pitchers on our staff. They kept the dimensions very similar to the Metrodome. No one knew how this field was gonna play until games were played their.

Personally, I think the allys are too deep, but it is what it is. Its not gonna be cheap to change the dimensions if they do it right, and I don't think its something they should jump into too quickly. I also don't like the silly itty bitty parks (like Houston's park, which I don't know what to call, cuz its name changes every 10 seconds).

Look at some of the nice newer parks in the league that aren't hitter friendly, like in SF, and SD. Those are great parks too. SF just won a World Series in theirs, no reason we can't win in ours.


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