Nicholas Castellanos is one of a few players that could be headed out as the rebuilding Detroit Tigers approach a trade deadline rife with potential buyers.
While being on the trade block can be a stressful experience for most players, the veteran third baseman seems pretty eager about one part of it. It means his days playing at Comerica Park are numbered.
Nicholas Castellanos: Not a fan of Comerica Park
After hitting a walk-off home run against the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday, Castellanos began ripping into the site of his heroics.
"This park's a joke," Castellanos said. "It’s to the point where, how are we going to be compared to the rest of the people in the league for power numbers and OPS and slugging and all this stuff, when we’ve got a yard out here that’s 420 feet straight across to center field? We get on second base, third base, and (opposing players) looking like, ‘how do you guys do this?' We play 81 games here, I don’t want to hear it about your two you hit that are questionable.”
Comerica Park is well known for its somewhat angular dimensions that features the deepest center-field wall in the majors at 420 feet.
Castellanos was reportedly asked what he would do to fix the park, and he said the easy fix was to bring in the center and right-center field walls. Curiously, he actually pointed to a home run he hit on June 28 against the Washington Nationals as evidence for Comerica’s problems:
"There’s no reason that I hit a ball 434 feet off Anibal Sanchez and it goes in the first row. That shouldn’t happen," Castellanos said, referencing his last homer in Detroit, against the Nationals on June 28.
To underscore his point, Castellanos claimed that Miguel Cabrera, who has 470 career home runs, would be in a conversation with Barry Bonds had he played his entire career in the homer-happy stadiums of the New York Yankees or Cincinnati Reds:
"Let’s just say Miggy played his whole career in Yankee Stadium or Great American Ballpark or whatever – him and (Barry) Bonds are already the greatest hitters, period, there’s no discussion – but the fact that he’s played in Pro Player Stadium, the Marlins’ old park and then Comerica Park, there’s a discussion," Castellanos said.
That claim might be too much of a leap for Castellanos, as calculated park factors don’t exactly support his argument that Comerica is a home-run black hole. According to ESPN’s park factors, which compare rates of different hits between MLB ballparks, Comerica Park ranks just 13th in MLB in home run suppression this year and 18th in run suppression. Last year, it was 7th and 10th.
Oh, and since Castellanos mentioned Bonds, the home run park factor in Oracle Park — which features an infamously high and deep right field wall — in 2001 when Bonds hit 73 homers? Second in the majors in home run suppression.
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