Apparently the whole point of moving back the leftfield wall was to put the Orioles in a position to justify acquiring / starting mediocre to below average pitchers (Gibson and Irvin). Based on how OPACY ballpark factor is trending I don't see any reason to believe Irvin's success at home won't continue, even if it's to a slightly lesser extent. So worst case scenario you're probably looking at a possible uptick in ERA to the low 4.00s, which certainly isn't going to be enough to get him bumped from the rotation.
#23 - Oriole Park at Camden Yards (Orioles) - 95.3 Overall Park Factor, 86.0 Fly Ball (24th), 83 Home Run (27th)
Well, the Orioles moved the left field fence way in before the 2022 season, and it clearly had the desired impact. Both its fly ball and home run park factors reached their lowest points over the past decade, and that 83 home run mark marked its first foray below 100 over that span. Even before the fences came in, this park was one of those that yielded homers, but not all that many runs. It hasn’t posted a higher than average doubles or triples park factor over the last decade.
#27 - RingCentral Coliseum (Athletics) - 93.5 Overall Park Factor, 85.9 Fly Ball (25th), 92 Home Run (22nd)
First and foremost, this place is a dump. That said, this marks 10 straight years as a pitchers’ park for RingCentral. When you suppress both homers (8 straight years below 100 HR park factor) and singles (10 straight years), there simply aren’t many avenues to behaving as a hitters’ park.
Listened to Elias on MASN Hot Stove last night. While many things are TBD, two things seem firm.
1) He wants a left-handed hitter to back up Mountcastle at first. This is not a revelation to many. But I needed to hear it from him. He suggested Santander, Vavra, O'Hearn and said he is still looking. That means no Westburg backing up 1B. Time for me to adjust.
2) Cole Irvin is in the rotation. Its being handed to him. He does not have to earn it. I take it that its settled, Irvin will be in rotation on March 30 for the beginning of the season. His two seasons in the majors and the 180 IP are what seems to matter.
His 5.26 ERA outside the Oakland Coliseum does not. I remain skeptical he can hold the starting spot over Wells and Voth into May. But I protest too much. Time to sit back and watch what happens with Irvin.