Earlier this week, Diamondbacks’ general manager Mike Hazen announced that a humidor will be installed at Chase Field this 2018 season.
The club has been exploring the idea of a humidor since 2010. In 2017, it was expected use would begin, but logistical issues pushed it back to this year.
Chase Field has been known as a hitter’s park, but that will likely change with the installation of the humidor. A humidor is a climate controlled chamber that absorbs moisture. It’s use could result in lower exit velocity of baseballs for hitters, but a better ability for grip for pitchers.
The Colorado Rockies implemented a humidor in 2002. Since then, home runs at Coors Field declined. The impact could be bigger at Chase Field because of Phoenix’s lower average relative humidity than Denver.
The Diamondbacks’ humidor will be the exact same as the Rockies’.
“MLB will be monitoring it daily, they’re basically in control of it when we’re playing games,” Hazen said. “There will be an MLB official that is overseeing it, much like in Colorado. It’s all the exact same.”
The topic of ball storage consistency is big in baseball. For the Diamondbacks’, the humidor was the best course of action the club felt they could take, Hazen said.
“We are given recommendations for how we’re specifically supposed to store our baseballs,” Hazen said. “We’re given those guidelines and we’re expected to comply with those guidelines and we’re unable to do that outside of this environment.”
Manager Torey Lovullo is not opposed to the humidor’s installation at Chase Field.
“I think anytime you’re leveling a playing field and creating the same standards for every type of ball club, every type of team, it can only help and benefit,” Lovullo said. “When I think about the humidor, I think of everyone talking about this really hostile environment for pitchers, but our pitchers did a very, very, good job in this ballpark.”