New for the 2022 season, MLB is requiring all 30 teams to store their baseballs in a humidor prior to games in an effort to control some of the inconsistencies between them.
Humidors work by bringing baseballs to an average humidity, which means in a dry park, baseballs will become more humid and heavier. In humid parks, however, a humidor will dry out the baseballs and make them lighter.
The early results thus far have been stunning as offensive numbers are down significantly across the league. Some have attributed that to a strange offseason and shortened Spring Training, but Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts believes players on his team have struggled for other reasons.
“I honestly think it’s a byproduct of the humidor and the balls. I really do,” Roberts said. “It is what it is, we can’t change it, everyone in baseball is going through it. Specifically to our guys, I can easily name a dozen homers for guys on our club that would’ve been homers.
“We’d be looking and saying our guys are not off to such a bad start. But when they result in an F7 or F8, the results aren’t there. But our guys aren’t making excuses, which I appreciate, and we’re still winning more than we lose. We’ve got to keep going.”
While the Dodgers rank ninth as a team in runs scored (114), several players have gotten off to uncharacteristically slow starts. The group includes Max Muncy and Justin Turner, though both players have been putting better swings on the ball recently.
Mookie Betts also was mired in a lengthy slump to begin the season but he has started to heat up as well, batting .346/.357/.577 over his last seven games.
Roberts hoped humidor in all 30 stadiums would bring ‘consistency’
Roberts initially was optimistic the humidors would bring consistency to the baseballs. “I certainly think it adds consistency as far as the feel of the baseball,” Roberts recently said of all 30 ballparks utilizing a humidor this season.
“Elevation also matters; whether we’re playing at altitude or playing at sea level. But I guess I’m just not smart enough to know how much of an impact it’s going to make.”
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