The balls -- which counteract the elevation and lack of humidity in places like Denver and Albuquerque -- have been used by the Rockies since 2002 and were sent down to the Triple-A Colorado Springs in 2012. Albuquerque, elevation 5,300, still isn't as high as Colorado Spring (6,531 at the Sky Sox's stadium), but Dodgers management is hopeful it will bring down ERAs and boost confidence for their young pitchers.
Making the announcement on MLB Network radio, De Jon Watson, the Dodgers' vice president of player development said:
“When our pitchers get hit hard, they end up changing the way that they pitch and we don’t want them to do that. Sure, there have been some guys who have done well there, but it’s a tough place to pitch.”
Think Blue LA adds this interesting tidbit:
Over the past several years, the Dodgers have purposely kept their top pitching prospects away from the thin, dry air of Albuquerque, opting instead to promote them directly from Double-A Chattanooga to the major leagues – most notably Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, Paco Rodriguez and several others.
Can't imagine that this will cause the controversy it did in Colorado a couple years back. Plus it sure is nice for the Dodgers to help with their young pitchers' confidence.
The last thing they need is any of their prospects "Breaking Bad" down in Albuquerque. C'mon, you didn't expect a post about the ABQ without a Walter White ref, did you?
BLS H/N: Think Blue LA
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