The Houston Astros are adding green paint to the right side of the batter’s eye at Minute Maid Park, the team announced Friday. The adjustments will be ready in time for the upcoming homestand on Monday.
The batter’s eye is the large green area immediately over the center-field wall in every ballpark, or what the batter sees in the background as he looks out at the pitcher on the mound. In Houston, it resembles an ivy-covered wall and has an Astros logo in the middle of it. It’s been this way since the removal of Tal’s Hill prior to the 2017 season.
The current batter’s eye has apparently been causing issues for hitters. The Athletic reported that an Astros spokesperson cited “player feedback” as one of the reasons for the alteration.
The Astros are 45-27 on the road this season and just 38-37 in Minute Maid Park. On the road, they’ve hit .268 with an .801 OPS as opposed to .251 and .732, respectively, at home. They’ve scored 339 runs (4.52 runs per game) with 83 home runs at home vs. 419 runs (5.82 per game) and 118 runs away from Minute Maid.
Those are pretty extreme splits, especially with the hitter-friendly Crawford Boxes in left field.
In the lead-up to the change, The Athletic reported that players have indicated that the batter’s eye is one of the main problems. “It’s night and day,” one player said on the batter’s eye at home versus those on the road. Also:
One player described the batter’s eye as “not high enough” with “too much stuff behind it.”
The Astros begin a series in Kansas City Friday night. They’ll return home Monday against the Orioles and we’ll get a glimpse of the new-look batter’s eye then.