Following up on Cal Raleigh’s massive home run on Thursday, which is covered at length in this post, we can now confirm that it did not pass over the top of the giant wall in center field at Cheney Stadium. Shin-Soo Choo remains the last player to homer over the wall, on May 6, 2005.
After speaking with multiple people with their own look at the play, we can confirm that Raleigh’s drive was a foot or two to the right of the giant wall when it passed over the fence. It was certainly a mammoth home run, one of the longest you can see at our ballpark and a true rarity, but it did not go over the top of the 29-foot tall monster. Multiple sources agreed.
I hung around the Salt Lake dugout yesterday to ask Scott Schebler, the center fielder who was trying to track the ball, what he thought. While very respectful of how far the homer was hit, Schebler said that if it had been hit “one or two feet to the left, it would have hit the tall wall.”
We had the Rainiers Director of Baseball Operations Ashley Schutt, who is our only person who has access to the umpires during Covid protocol, ask what they thought. Ashley reported that the umpires agreed that the ball did not go over the top of the wall.
I checked with the Mariners/Rainiers video guy Seth, who has his own set of cameras and high-tech provided to him by the Mariners. He’s the guy who uses advanced technology to collect the data and put together all of the Mariners in-house analytical reports for player performance and evaluation. Seth really wanted to be able to say that Raleigh’s ball cleared the top of the wall, but he just couldn’t do it. He said it was definitely to the right. He did report that Raleigh’s homer had an exit velocity of 107 mph and a launch angle of 26.8 degrees (which led me to wonder what minimum exit velocity and launch angle would be required to clear the top of the wall? Maybe I’ll ask him if that can be figured out).
On top of all of this, if you watch the video you can see the ball come down in front of the tree that is to the right of the wall. If you walk out there – anyone can do this – you can see from the position of the tree and how close it is to the fence that a homer would have to be hit at a very high angle – and helped by an extreme side-wind – to go over the top corner of the wall and land where Raleigh’s did.
Ultimately, we’re not going to count it. A.J. Zapp and Shin-Soo Choo remain the only two batters to clear the wall during an official Triple-A game. Cal Raleigh and everyone else in the lineups can take their shots at it today.
Salt Lake hammered Tacoma yesterday, 8-2, by hitting five home runs. Three of the five homers came in the top of the first inning, which included back-to-back shots by Jo Adell and Scott Schebler.
The Bees have been a real problem for the Rainiers so far this season, winning six of the eight games that have been played so far. A big step in the right direction for Tacoma would be to keep Salt Lake off the scoreboard in the top of the first inning: Salt Lake scored four runs yesterday in the first, and three runs the day before. Tacoma has not had a lead yet in this series.
Injured Mariners Evan White and Dylan Moore both took batting practice with the Rainiers prior to the game yesterday, which indicates that rehabilitation assignments are looming in the very near future.
YESTERDAY: Salt Lake his five home runs – three of them during a four-run first inning – and never trailed in an 8-2 win over Tacoma. Jo Adell homered twice, including a statcast-measured 474-footer in the first inning. Shed Long and Luis Torrens each had two hits for Tacoma.
TODAY: Salt Lake (11-15) at Tacoma (13-13), 5:05 PT.
OPPONENT AFFILIATION: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
OPPOSING MANAGER: Lou Marson.
SEASON SERIES: Salt Lake leads, 6-2.
PITCHERS: RHP Jake Buchanan (1-1, 8.03) at RHP Bernie Martinez (0-0, 6.00)
Martinez is up from Hi-A Everett to make his second start for Tacoma.
ROSTER MOVES: Yesterday the Rainiers had no roster moves, ending a streak of 17 consecutive days with at least one transaction. That streak included three days in which the Rainiers didn’t have a game, and still had a roster move.
HOT HITTERS: Cal Raleigh has a 16-game hitting streak, going 29-for-69 during the streak… Raleigh has reached base safely in 20 straight games… Dillon Thomas has hit four homers over his last seven games… both Shed Long and Jack Reinheimer have hit safely in six straight games… Jantzen Witte had his six-game hitting streak end yesterday… the Rainiers have clubbed 31 home runs over the past 13 games, with 13 different players going deep.
OPPONENT NEWS: Salt Lake is 6-2 against Tacoma and 5-13 against the three other teams they have played… outfielder Jo Adell leads all of minor league baseball with 14 home runs… Scott Schebler has gone 5-for-10 over the first two games of the series… reliever Tim Peterson was born in Tacoma and graduated from Emerald Ridge High School in Puyallup.
BROADCAST: All games will be broadcast free on a live audio stream which is available right here.
Unfortunately, there is no traditional terrestrial radio station carrying the games at this time.
TRIPLE-A WEST SCOREBOARD: Follow all league games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.
STORIES YOU MIGHT LIKE:
- The Mariners lost a one-run game to the Angels last night, 3-2, missing a big opportunity in the eighth inning. Seattle is now 13-6 in one-run games this year.
- Ryan Divish’s Mariners Notebook digs into the incredible walk rate of Jake Fraley, and has an injury update.
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About the Tacoma Rainiers
The Tacoma Rainiers are the Triple-A affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. The Rainiers are a member of the Triple-A West. Tacoma has been a Mariners affiliate since establishing the Rainiers moniker in 1995.
The most up-to-date news and notes about the Tacoma Rainiers and Cheney Stadium can be found at WeRTacoma.com, or by following the Rainiers on Twitter (@RainiersLand), Instagram (@tacomarainiers) and liking the team on Facebook.
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