SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- In an effort to store baseballs at guidelines set out by Major League Baseball, the D-backs will use a humidor at Chase Field in 2018.The team had hoped to have it operational during the 2017 season, but had trouble getting it calibrated properly.Major League Baseball guidelines say
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- In an effort to store baseballs at guidelines set out by Major League Baseball, the D-backs will use a humidor at Chase Field in 2018.
The team had hoped to have it operational during the 2017 season, but had trouble getting it calibrated properly.
Major League Baseball guidelines say that baseballs should be stored at 70 degrees with about 50 percent humidity. That isn't possible in the dry desert air, particularly during the hot summer months, without the help of a humidor.
"We have to store baseballs in a certain environment," D-backs general manager Mike Hazen said last year. "As we had looked at those things when I had come in, the ability of the pitchers to grip the baseballs, especially through the summer months when it gets extremely hot and dry, no matter what we've done in terms of rubbing them up the right way, it seemed to be a challenge. This seemed to be the solution that we could come up with."
D-backs manager Torey Lovullo endorsed the decision.
"I think anytime you're leveling the playing field and creating the same standards for every type of team it can only help and benefit what we're walking through," he said.
Chase Field is known as a hitter-friendly ballpark, but Hazen said last year that he wasn't sure what impact adding the humidor would have on offensive output. The goal, he said, was to give pitchers a better grip of the baseball.
"I definitely think there's advantages to it," D-backs reliever Archie Bradley said Wednesday. "I just don't want to buy too much into it. I do think that you will see some guys have a lot more command and be able to control pitches a lot better with that little extra grip that you get. Just have to make pitches, man. I don't think it matters to me. You've got to throw the ball where they can't hit it. Pretty cut and dried there."
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.