The Tampa Bay Rays are a good physical exam away from officially adding Luke Scott to the active roster. The Tampa Bay Rays are a bad physical exam away from narrowly avoiding a controversial loudmouth. It's win-win!
Scott will probably pass his physical. Then he will be a Ray, for 2012, and possibly for 2013. As such, the former Oriole will move from playing half his games at Camden Yards to playing half his games at Tropicana Field. What could that mean for him? We turn to Steve Slowinski at FanGraphs:
Camden Yards may not get much publicity as a hitter’s park, but it is a dreamhouse for left-handed hitters. Last season, Camden Yards boosted overall offensive performance for left-handed hitters by around 4%; even with its short right-field porch, Yankee Stadium only clocked in at 3%. The majority of this boost came in the power department, as Camden increased homeruns for left-handed hitters by 18%. That right field wall may be high, but that doesn’t appear to be slowing anyone down.
Meanwhile, Tropicana Field is the most difficult park in the AL East for left-handed hitters…and it’s particularly difficult for left-handed power hitters. The Trop suppresses homeruns from lefties at around an 11% clip, as the right-field wall is at a sharp angle and reaches 380-390 feet in right-center.
There's more to read. I think, generally, a lot of people are familiar with the idea that Camden Yards is a hitter-friendly environment. But the Trop doesn't get nearly so much attention as a pitcher-friendly environment, possibly because the Trop only ever gets attention for being empty and gross. Scott's adjustment to Tampa Bay will not be an easy one, and that's if he's healthy. If he's not what he was, it'll be even harder.
Park adjustments! They're important for players, and they're important for statistical considerations. Always remember that.