Monday, January 30, 2006

Piazza to Roll Stone Up Hill

Mike Piazza has always put up his numbers at pitcher-friendly parks, i.e.: Chavez Ravine and Flushing, but now he goes to the worst of all hitters' parks in San Diego and the prospects do not look bright for the 37 year old ex-Mets backstop. As the newest Padre, Piazza this year will try to scratch out 300-350 ABs at catcher plus occasionally appear at 1B, or DH during interleague play. Though the Padres are moving the right-center fence 11 feet closer, it will still be 400 feet off the plate and won't significantly boost Piazza's home run total. Although Piazza hit 19 homers last year, more than any Padre, the comparison reflects not so much Piazza's prowess with the bat as the enormous difficulty for any hitter to reach the stands in the cool salt air of San Diego.