For Dodgers’ Max Muncy, new center field backdrop is a painful adjustment

first_imgALSOBlake Treinen, Dennis Santana, Adam Kolarek and Dylan Floro each pitched to teammates in the Dodgers’ intrasquad game Wednesday night. … Edwin Rios hit a home run to left field against Treinen, accounting for the only run in the game. … Each half-inning ended after three outs or when the pitcher reached his limit for the inning, whichever came first. … Roberts said that pitcher A.J. Ramos threw his first bullpen session, approximately 30 pitches, on Tuesday. He and 2020 draft pick Clayton Beeter were the most recent additions to the Dodgers’ 60-man player pool, which currently has nine vacancies. … The Dodgers placed minor leaguers Zach Reks, Cody Thomas and Edwin Uceta on the 10-day injured list Tuesday. No injury was listed for any of the three players. LOS ANGELES – The Dodgers made approximately $100 million in renovations to Dodger Stadium after the 2019 season ended. The nucleus is a brand-new center field plaza, which required a total teardown of the black backdrop facing home plate.The new backdrop is just as black, but it comes with some quirks. The singular tower of speakers just beyond dead-center is gone, replaced with a pair of towers to the left and right. The videographers’ well is wider. There’s also a pedestrian area behind the speaker towers, part of the new walkway that encircles the stadium.None of this figured to be news on July 7. For several Dodger players, that was the first day they stood in the batter’s box facing the new center field backdrop. They have only a couple weeks to get adjusted before Opening Day.For Max Muncy, the adjustment came with a cost: the first baseman was hit by a pitch on his left hand in the Dodgers’ intrasquad game Tuesday. How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire “The batter’s eye will no longer be a tarp, and a scaffold, all this kind of crazy concoction of stuff,” Smith said, “but a real structure that’ll have a very clean look, places for cameras to be positioned that don’t wobble, and a bar on top of the batter’s eye that’ll be out of the players’ view, but it’ll be a fabulous place for those of us who have always been envious of what the camera sees to enjoy the game that way too.”What does that mean for the hitters? It’s early, but Muncy’s experience served as a caution.“You don’t want a player to not be able to see, to put him in harm’s way. For Max to say he couldn’t see the ball because of the background, that’s a little unsettling,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.Related Articles Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies “I couldn’t really see the ball,” Muncy said on a conference call with reporters. “I’m trying to adjust to some of the changes out there. (The ball) came up and in on me and hit me in the finger.”The injury is not considered serious. Muncy said he’ll stop swinging a bat while his finger heals, but he expects to be ready by July 23 for Opening Day against the Giants.As for how the new center field background might have caused him trouble, Muncy said, “I don’t know if I’ll comment too much on that. It’s something I have to get used to. It’s different from what we’re used to. Pitchers are pretty happy about the batter’s eye out there.”Dodger Stadium hasn’t opened its doors to fans in 2020 because of public-gathering restrictions triggered by the novel coronavirus outbreak. The stadium might not host fans at all this year, even if the team reaches the playoffs after the 60-game regular season. Since its completion, the new center field area has gotten relatively few up-close looks.In December, the Dodgers’ senior vice president of planning and development, Janet Marie Smith, described the new features to SportsNet LA.last_img

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