With the World Series moving to San Francisco in the spacious outfield of AT&T Park
Ned Yost acknowledged possibility Jarrod Dyson might start tomorrow. Nori Aoki has more value off the bench than Dyson as a pinch hitter.— Andy McCullough (@McCulloughStar) October 24, 2014
Offensively its pretty much a push, with maybe a slight edge to Aoki. Nori Aoki hit .285/.349/.360, Jarrod Dyson hit .269/.324/.327. Right-hander Tim Hudson is scheduled to start for the Giants tonight. Aoki actually has a reverse career split, and is hitting .273/.346/.380 against righties in his career. Dyson is hitting .269/.332/.358 against righties in his career. Dyson obviously gives the Royals value with his baserunning, with a UBR of 0.3 this year for the Royals compared to Aoki's -9.8. For what its worth, Aoki is 2-8 with a double and 3 walks against Tim Hudson in his career, Jarrod Dyson has never faced him.
Ned may be putting Dyson in for defensive reasons. Gordon-Dyson-Cain is easily the league's best defensive alignment, and although right-field is smaller at AT&T Park than left and center, the swirling winds and odd caroms may make defense an adventure out there, and we don't need to see Nori Aoki in any more adventures.
CBS Sports Mike Axisa gives us the lay of the land at AT&T Park:
According to the park factors at ESPN, Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City was basically neutral, allowing runs at 1.014 times the league average. San Francisco's AT&T Park, on the other hand, suppressed offense to 92.0 percent of the MLB average.
Thanks to its spacious outfield and the marine layer that knocks down fly balls at night, AT&T Park had by far the lowest home run park factor in baseball at 0.677 in 2014. That means it allowed only two-thirds as many home runs that would be expected at an average park. Nationals Park in Washington had the second-lowest home run park factor at 0.701.
According to an AP story:
With tight foul ground, gusts that whip off McCovey Cove, twilight starts and pesky seagulls that hover around in the late innings, a lot of balls become adventures in San Francisco. In 2007, Ichiro Suzuki hit the first inside-the-park home run in an All-Star Game when his shot off the right-field wall took a weird ricochet.
2X2L had a great comment about how outfield defenses lineup at AT&T Park:
Here's typical positioning for a right-handed non-pull hitter
and many left-handed hitters too.
Really opens up the opportunity for sinking liners toward the right field line to drop.
The 27th batter of Yusmeiro Petit’s nearly perfect game, Eric Chavez, got a base hit just like that. You have to wonder why the right fielder has to charge so far to his left for a line drive. Where was he? Playing way off the line, just like always.
So you can kind of see Ned's reasoning here, improve the defense for what could be an interesting night in the San Francisco ballpark. Starting Dyson would take away the ability to use him as a pinch-runner late in the game, but the club still has Terrence Gore off the bench to fill that role.
What do you think, should Nori Aoki or Jarrod Dyson get the start tonight?