Marlins to consider moving in fences at Marlins Park
Miami tied for 26th in MLB with 42 HRs at home this season
MIAMI -- On what is shaping up as a lengthy "to do" list for the Marlins in the offseason will be addressing the dimensions at spacious Marlins Park.
Team president David Samson said on Wednesday that the organization is considering moving in and lowering the fences at one of Major League Baseball's toughest places to hit home runs.
"We haven't formulated a final plan," Samson told MLB.com. "Still looking, but trying to make a decision for next season."
The Marlins rank 29th in the Majors in home runs with 91, and are tied for 26th with Oakland with 42 homers at home.
Giancarlo Stanton has accounted for 13 of those long balls at Marlins Park. Martin Prado hit his fifth home run of the season at home (and sixth overall) during Wednesday's 7-2 loss to the Pirates. Justin Bour and J.T. Realmuto follow with four each. Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna, the club's regular left and center fielders, each have one home run this season at Marlins Park.
The dimensions of the park are 344 feet down the left-field line. From there, it extends to 386 feet in left-center and 418 feet in straightaway center. In right field it is 335 feet down the line, and 392 feet in right-center.
Along with being deep dimensions, the walls are high, ranging from 11 1/2 to 13 feet.
One modification is moving the fences in only from the base of the Home Run Sculpture in center to the 392 feet marker in right field.
Marlins Park was designed to be a pitchers' park, but the flip side is it has become a tough place for Miami to post power numbers.
Since the retractable-roof building opened in 2012, Miami has 192 home runs at home, which rates 29th out of 30 big league clubs. Only the Giants have fewer, with 165 at AT&T Park.
As an organization, the Marlins have believed, with its wide gaps, the park would lend itself to more doubles. But that hasn't been the case. The Marlins rank last in the Majors in doubles at home, with 87. Since 2012, they've hit 460 doubles in Miami, which ranks 26th.
One theory some players say is because the park plays so big, outfielders play deeper than in most places, essentially playing a "no-doubles" style while being at normal depth.
Because defenders are deeper, they will concede a bloop hit over a liner into the gaps.
From a pitching standpoint, the Marlins staff has been more effective at home. They're posting a 3.66 ERA in Miami, which is 16th best in the Majors. On the road, the ERA rises to 4.32.
Since 2012, the Marlins have an identical 3.66 ERA at home, compared to 4.09 on the road.
"I think pitchers would like to see [the fences] moved back, and position players would like to see them moved in," Samson said. "It's an offseason issue."