Sunday, May 22, 2022

Frank Schwindel and MLB’s Broken Balls


Whether you like it or not, it is now pretty obvious that MLB’s new balls that are being put in humidors aren’t traveling as far as previous years. You like a lot of home runs? Too bad. You can read all about it here.

On one hand, I completely get it because a few years ago there were some ridiculous hits leaving ballparks all over the league that had no business being home runs. But now it kind of just seems like MLB over corrected for those record-high home run totals and now we’re left with guys crushing balls and seeing them die in the outfield.

Frank Schwindel was the latest victim to the new balls Tuesday night against the Padres.

I’m a Cubs fan, so yeah I was really pissed off at that. And I get it, San Diego at night isn’t the best combo for hitting home runs, however this isn’t an isolated thing.

Lance Brozdowski, an analyst for Marquee Sports Network, looked up the numbers for barreled balls in 2021 and compared it to 2022 so far. Not only is the batting average down by 100 points, but that last column shows the distance on the hardest-hit balls is down by an average of seven feet.

Specifically on Schwindel’s fly out to the wall, 79 of 132 similarly-hit balls went out for home runs.

But hey, I’m willing to give in here. All 30 MLB parks have the humidors now, so the league is at least attempting to normalize the conditions for the balls across the entire league, even if there may be some issues with that in terms of the temperature that is being used. Anyway, the main problem is that it’s not only position players complaining about the balls. Pitchers, who obviously threw one every pitch, are saying the new balls are bad.

Why? Because they all feel different.

This thread does a great job of explaining the issues with the balls so far. Basically, MLB wanted to have consistency with their balls compared to previous years and instead they’ve so far gotten the opposite result.

So, fine, I’m not asking for the juiced balls back. I’d be equally pissed when a pop-up against my team goes sailing out into the stands. However, whatever is happening now isn’t good either.

Fix your balls, MLB.

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