clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Marlins will consider moving fences in

New, 4 comments

Marlins Park may not be a true pitcher's park, but Miami will still consider moving the fences in the future.

Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

At one point, Miami's front office felt it would need to move the fences in to make a Giancarlo Stanton extension realistic. The club ultimately decided to wait before making a decision, and the Stanton deal was completed anyway. But heading into their fourth season at Marlins Park, the Marlins are still open to moving the fences in, according to MLB.com's Joe Frisaro.

Although the Marlins considered moving the fences in to appease Stanton, throughout the process, the organization did not want to make such a quick decision. Most ballparks do not gain a reputation for being pitcher or hitter friendly until at least five years after they first open, and Marlins Park is still rather new.

Samson also confirmed the organization is open to moving in the fences at its spacious park. The left-field gap is 386 feet, and the dimensions go to 418 feet in center and 392 feet in right-center.

"I think we will spend another year looking, and we'll see," Samson said. "There is no definite answer one way or the other.

24 of Giancarlo Stanton's 37 home runs last season were hit at Marlins Park, but the stadium has been known for its spacious outfield gaps. Miami has one of baseball's best outfields in Stanton, Christian Yelich, and Marcell Ozuna, and since the trio has a significant amount of combined speed, the gaps are not alarming. The ballpark is notably deep in center field, making hitting a home run a challenge for some of the game's better power hitters. Stanton and Michael Morse are among the Marlins who will look to capitalize on their power at home in 2015.

While hitters sometimes are disturbed by its spaciousness, Marlins Park could prove to favor pitchers. Although pitchers enjoy starting in Miami, our Michael Jong proved back in October that South Florida's baseball stadium may not actually be a pitcher's park. Opposing teams have traditionally hit better in their respective home ballparks, although the 2014 numbers at Marlins Park were relatively even.

I trust the batting line more than the runs per game (calculated as runs scored by both teams per game) at a three-year window, but you can see that the difference is very minimal. The batting average and on-base percentages between the two areas are almost exactly the same, and the only difference is in the slugging percentage. That should not surprise anyone, as we already know that Marlins Park suppresses home runs enough.

Miami does not have to worry about keeping Stanton long-term after extending him in November, and as a result should not be concerned with Marlins Park's dimensions. If (or when) the club begins to struggle offensively at home, the conversation will likely prove to be worthwhile.