That’s Amaury’s News and Commentary: MLB: De-Juicing the Pelotas

The New York Yankees Luke Voit designated hitter led MLB in home runs with 22 will have to swing a little harder this season as MLB has unwound the balls just a tiny bit to reduce the amount of home runs hit. Here is Voit swinging for a ground out against the Miami Marlins last season on Sun Sep 27, 2020 at Yankee Stadium (AP News photo)

MLB: De-Juicing the Pelotas

That’s Amaury News and Commentary

By Amaury Pi-González

MLB announced today starting dates for all 30 teams to report to Spring Training. As well as the plan for a full 162 game season, with playoffs as in the past, pre-pandemic 2019. The Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants February 17 to 22, for pitchers and catchers first workouts. April 1 is Opening Day.

Last few years Major League Baseball introduced a bevy of changes. This 2021 season is going to have one of the most interesting changes in recent memory. MLB is going to alter the baseball, and therefore hope to reduce the ratio of home runs.

Recently the KBO, Korean Baseball Organization increased the weight of its baseball less than one twentieth of an ounce and moved the COR about 0.01 in 2019, the result was a 33% decrease in home runs. MLB paid attention to such numbers and hope to accomplish something similar.

After the league saw a record 6,776 homers hit in 2019 (the last 162-game season that was played), the home run rate fell from 6.6% of plate appearances in ’19 to 6.5% during the pandemic-shortened ’20 campaign. It might be the worse kept secret that baseballs have more juice than ever in recent memory, and combined with the new style of hitting the famous “launch angle” home runs are becoming, boring?

What MLB is trying to do this 2021 season is De-Juicing the Pelotas. And what is going to do is basically reduce a 375+ foot fly-ball by about 1 to 2 feet, which will return a reduction of 5% less home runs.

This will also result in an increase in doubles and triples. Another change pertaining to the baseball: MLB wants five (5) more teams to store baseballs in a humidor at their home park. As of today the Boston Red Sox, Colorado Rockies, Arizona Diamondbacks and New York Mets and Seattle Mariners already store their baseballs in humidors.

Of these five teams, Arizona was the only one showing a decline in home runs once the humidor was installed. To this day, the other five (5) teams that will add the humidor are unknown. Plus, my friends that are National League fans will be happy to learn 2021 there will not be a DH, everything stays the same.

Enjoy it, I am afraid this will be the last year with no DH. But not so quickly for those that like less home runs and more bunting, hit and run and strategy that seems to be absent these days. We are not going to regress to the dead ball era, where from 1900 until the arrival of Babe Ruth in 1919 nobody hit home runs.

Ruth hit an MLB record 29 home runs in 1919 and that was Page One material then. John Franklin “Home Run” Baker led the American League from 1911 to 1914 with a total combined of 42 home runs.

I do not think we are going to go that far back in the time machine in 2019 Houston Note: Juiced Pelotas: In 2019 Astros All-Star pitcher Justin Verlander won his second Cy Young of his career, with a 21-6, 2.58 ERA and gave-up 36 home runs most in his stellar career. This is what he said in 2019 about the juiced balls: “Major League Baseball is turning this game into a joke”.

Stay well and stay tuned.

Join Amaury for News and Commentary at and Amaury works as vice president for the Major League Baseball Heritage Hall of Fame Museum

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