No more turf: Blue Jays outfitting Rogers Centre with real dirt infield
The Toronto Blue Jays made a big announcement on Wednesday: They’re installing dirt in the infield at Rogers Centre.
We are pleased to announce that work will begin the week of Feb 8 to install a regulation dirt infield in time for the 2016 regular season
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) February 3, 2016
This is an important development for the Jays, as the field conditions in Toronto have long been maligned as being dangerous for players due to its unforgiving material.
With reigning AL MVP Josh Donaldson manning third base for the foreseeable future (not to mention oft-injured shortstop Troy Tulowitzki), it makes sense for the club to want to ensure a "safer" playing field, something team senior vice president Stephen Brooks said in a statement quoted by TSN:
Previously, the stadium used dirt around home plate and surrounding each base, but the rest of the infield area (the basepaths) was covered by artificial turf. The Jays have played on artificial surface since they joined the league in 1977.