No changes to Citi Field layout in 2010
DENVER - The Mets like Citi Field just the way it is. Or at least they've learned to appreciate the spacious dimensions and high outfield walls. Which is why the front office, as well as ownership, has no immediate plans to change the layout of the new $800-million ballpark.
The idea still could come under review at the end of the season, and might depend on what the roster could look like for 2010 as the Mets try to regroup after this lost year.
"We all said we'd give it the season and talk about it then," said assistant GM John Ricco, the traveling executive on this road trip. "There's been nothing definitive on it yet."
Ricco also said it's been difficult to evaluate the Citi Field effect because of the Mets' depleted roster, which has been without three of its top four hitters - Jose Reyes, Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran - for most of the season.
Citi Field ranks 11th in the National League with 1.67 home runs per game, according to hittrackeronline.com. Not surprisingly, Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia is the top hitter's haven with 2.74 homers.
In planning the blueprints for Citi, the Mets wanted to build their team on pitching and defense. That's still fine with manager Jerry Manuel.
"I'm happy with it the way it is," he said. "But if there is an adjustment in the personnel, and it doesn't fit that, then you would reconsider."
Sheff's role limited
Manuel said Gary Sheffield is likely to be limited to pinch-hitting duties for the rest of this season - and added that even that might be too much for him as he deals with back spasms. "It's going to be tough," Manuel said. "There's a possibility he could pinch hit, but it would have to be almost a last-resort type of thing, an emergency type of thing."