BALTIMORE—The Orioles have played 10 games at Camden Yards, their home field that has a different look after 30 years because of the changes to the left-field wall. It’s nearly 30 feet deeper and 6 feet higher this season.
In those 10 games, the Orioles are batting just .206 with only four home runs. Just one of those homers, Ryan Mountcastle’s 423-foot blast on April 29th, was to left.
There were two balls — Trey Mancini’s double in the second home game on April 12th, and Anthony Santander’s sacrifice fly on Sunday — that would have been home runs with the previous dimensions.
The Orioles are 5-5 in home games and, for the most part, have struggled at the plate, especially with runners in scoring position.
“When the weather warms up, the ball’s going to carry more here,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “I’ve noticed that in the past.”
Tyler Nevin, who hit 16 home runs for Triple-A Norfolk last season, wants to make sure he’s hitting to all fields and not trying to pull the ball.
“I’ve chosen to look at it, as it keeps me in a better approach,” Nevin said. “It keeps me using the whole field. I can’t get pull happy, which is a little bit of what turned my season around last year.”
The 24-year-old corner infielder and outfielder, who left Tuesday night’s game after the fifth because or right groin soreness, learned from a challenging season at the Tides’ Harbor Park.
“At Norfolk, the wind blows in hard from right-center. I think if it was subliminally or not, that kind of got me away from using all fields, I think. Frustrating, you hit something hard [to] right-center, it gets knocked down like it was nothing, so I’ve just chosen to keep using all fields.”
Nevin doesn’t want to speak for his teammates’ approach.
“I can’t really speak for other guys,” he said. “The thing about baseball is, we all do the same thing, but we all do it so differently,” he said. “The mindset that I choose to have is stay with all fields. Right-center is still a good place to live here. I think a lot of guys would agree with it.
“Hopefully, if I get one to left, I get it good enough. I’m just focused on using the whole field and not getting distracted with what I can’t control.”
In their 13 road games, the Orioles are hitting .223 with seven home runs. They’re 3-10 in road games.
Oriole pitching has been stronger at home with a 2.13 ERA and just three home runs allowed; the ERA is 4.88 on the road with 17 home runs allowed.
Mancini returns: Trey Mancini, who has missed the last three games because of bruised ribs, is batting second as the designated hitter. Hyde said that he wanted to watch Mancini take batting practice before a definitive decision on his availability was made.
Mancini bruised the ribs when he made a catch in right field on Friday night and then hit the wall, with his left elbow going into his ribs.
“I put him in the lineup. He wants to be in there,” Hyde said. “He’s going to give it every effort like the gamer he is to try to be in there …”
Ellis update: Right-hander Chris Ellis, who’s on the 10-day injured list because of inflammation of the right shoulder, is in Texas getting examined by a physician, Hyde said.