CHICAGO -- With the Seattle Mariners announcing Tuesday they were bringing in the fences at Safeco Field, the American League West -- the Astros' new home next year -- has become a little more hitter friendly. But could the Astros follow suit and bring in their fences, too?
As of now, there are no plans to change the Minute Maid Park configuration or remove Tal's Hill, the embankment in center field that leads up to the center-field wall, which is 436 feet away from home plate. Astros owner Jim Crane has said previously the team is considering removing the hill, but it's not clear if the fences would be brought in if the hill is gone.
"With all the rebranding stuff, we have our hands full and that's going to be the focus of what we're doing," said Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, referring to the changes being made at the ballpark in advance of the unveiling a new logo, color schemes and uniforms on Nov. 2.
Luhnow said so few balls are hit to the hill that it doesn't come into play too much.
"We have a deep center field and to change that we would have to bring in the fences fairly dramatically," he said. "I think our pitchers like being in a ballpark where there's a deep center field. Between [Brandon] Barnes and [Justin] Maxwell, we have some outfielders that can cover some ground out there, and that's really been a strength of ours."