Marlins Park's dimensions a challenge for homers
MIAMI -- Marlins Park is modern, colorful and comfortable for players and fans. It also is one of the most difficult buildings to hit home runs. Along with having high lime green walls, the dimensions play big. It's 418 feet to dead center, 392 feet in right-center and 386 feet in left-center.
"It's big," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "This ballpark plays very big, which I think is good for our pitching, and it's not so good for our offense."
The Marlins, a team not currently loaded with power, have 18 home runs in their ballpark, which is the lowest of any team in the Majors in its own building. By contrast, the Cubs have 61 homers at Wrigley Field.
Visitors have hit 38 homers at Marlins Park for a total of 56 long balls recorded in Miami this season. AT&T Park in San Francisco has had the second fewest total homers, 62, with the Giants accounting for 29.
The longest home run recorded at Marlins Park this year, according to the Home Run Tracker web site, is 459 feet by Juan Francisco, when he was with the Braves on April 10. Francisco's blast was shaded just shy of center to the right-field side, and it smacked off the facing of the upper-deck siding.
Redmond says the Marlins' pitchers need to use the big ballpark to their advantage.
"I think the keys for us is make teams, especially good offensive teams, use the big part of the ballpark here," Redmond said. "You can hit it as hard and as far as you want to center field, where just a couple of balls have gone out all year."
The ballpark was a factor on Monday night in the Braves' 7-1 win in 14 innings. Giancarlo Stanton guessed about six balls could have been homers in other buildings.
Atlanta's Dan Uggla connected on two that he was stunned stayed in the building. And Justin Ruggiano lifted a ball to right-center that Jason Heyward caught just shy of the 392 sign.
"Pitching-wise for us, that's good," Redmond said. "We can be a little more aggressive on the outside corner and let guys hack away, because in this ballpark, it's so big."