Chase Field, one of the most hitter-friendly ballparks in baseball over its 20-year existence, is finally going to be evened out.
The Arizona Diamondbacks will install a humidor at their home stadium for the 2018 season to store baseballs at a controlled temperature, general manager Mike Hazen told Nick Piecoro of AZCentral.com on Tuesday.
They will join the Colorado Rockies - who also play at high altitude - as the only teams to make use of the machine. Colorado first used its humidor in 2002.
Hazen told Piecoro that after testing the device over the winter, the Chase Field humidor will store baseballs "in the range" of a temperature of 70 degrees, and 50 percent relative humidity.
Chase Field sits 1,059 feet above sea level; only the Rockies' Coors Field (5,210 feet) is at a higher altitude. Though Chase is already climate-controlled with a retractable roof (unlike the open-air Coors), the altitude and dry heat in Phoenix still has a noticeable effect on baseballs. According to ESPN Park Factors, Chase Field was the third-best hitting environment in baseball last season, trailing only Coors and Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas.
|Globe Life Park||Rangers||1.215||1.127|
By installing the humidor, the team hopes to reduce the amount of home runs and make it easier for pitchers to be effective, thereby neutralizing the natural park factors.
A study conducted by Alan Nathan of the Hardball Times last April concluded that a humidor at Chase Field would decrease home runs at the stadium by 25 to 50 percent.