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The Marlins new ballpark: pitchers’ paradise?

Dec 5, 2011, 8:58 AM EDT

The stadium the Miami Marlins will be using begining with  the upcoming baseball season, is seen in this undated handout photograph provided by the team.

I include the question mark because it’s silly to the point of folly to say with certainty how a new ballpark is gonna play before people actually start playing in it, but wow, check out the size of the outfield in the Marlins’ new ballpark.

That light blue overlay shows the outfield dimensions compared to Petco Park, which is the most pitcher-friendly park in baseball.  Yes, the night games with that marine layer thing coming in off the Pacific affect that a lot, but size does matter. And the size of the Marlins’ outfield is pretty impressive/scary depending on who you are.

This could be great for Jose Reyes and all of his triples and it could be wonderful for the Marlins’ pitching staff. But if you’re a power hitter, particularly a righty who sometimes takes it straight-away, this place may haunt your dreams.

  1. pmcenroe - Dec 5, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    I still think its way too early to tell. With the humidity and the roof closed or windows open or whatever it could end up being a launching pad like Chase Field. I just hope it doesn’t end up like Citi Field where they are moving the fences up in like 3 years.

  2. Jonny 5 - Dec 5, 2011 at 9:18 AM

    I was talking about this the other day when people trashed the Heath Bell signing. This place has less angles to screw with the OF’s heads, but it’s bigger than Petco in many spots making the home run tough. Bell may be better in Miami actually. Logan Morrison may become trade bait for a much faster OF’er , he’s not too fast and has some knee issues compounding it. Miami is going to need speed out there, Stanton and Morrison will be in trouble.

    • paperlions - Dec 5, 2011 at 9:23 AM

      Which is 100% irrelevant….if a park is a pitcher’s park, it is a pitcher’s park for EVERY pitcher, the park doesn’t make anyone better, it just makes it easier to perform….meaning you can get away will less at pitcher….will it help Bell be effective at home? Sure, but it will help any pitcher be effective at home….when you pay that much of a player, you have to consider the improvement he represents, and, as you pointed out before, the park is irrelevant within that context.

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 5, 2011 at 9:37 AM

        It’s a whole bunch of money to spend on a pitcher who will pitch 70- 90 innings, but it isn’t your money, and it’s obviously not stopping them from spending a whole bunch of it on other FA players. Signing Bell will do what it’s supposed to do. Give them an exciting good closer. It will get fans to fill seats.

      • Bill - Dec 5, 2011 at 9:46 AM

        Park isn’t “100% irrelevant.” That’s one of those mostly-true oversimplifications people need to stop declaring with such finality. If Bell were an extreme fly-ball pitcher and the park limits HR more than anything else, then he gets more benefit out of pitching in that park than most other pitchers do. He’s not, really, though he’s giving up more FB every year, so it might help.

    • Old Gator - Dec 5, 2011 at 11:32 AM

      Johnny – Stanton is very fast. Not fast for his size. Just fast. There’s been an ongoing discussion among the Feesh notochord trust about whether the Iron Giant should be encouraged to take advantage of his speed and run more, steal more bases, or to discourage a lot of base stealing to protect his legs.

      Since he already has a howitzer for an arm – something that often gets lost in the oooohs and aaaaaahs of his moonshot dingers – and since Reyes, Infante, Bonifacio and even Hanley already furnis plenty of speed, the Iron Giant probably ought to save his own speed for catching up to line drives in time to rack up assists.

      • Jonny 5 - Dec 5, 2011 at 11:49 AM

        Hmm? I ass-umed Stanton was a slower OF’er. Since he’s 6’5″ and about 240. Hanley may be parked in RF or center now that Reyes is on board. Your favorite Tweeter may just be gone after all these moves huh?

  3. cur68 - Dec 5, 2011 at 9:53 AM

    Mike Stanton hits most of his homers over 400 feet. Only about 6 of his 34 homers (~17.6%) were less than 400′. Most of his homers were to right field, where the fences are less than 400 feet, so he should be able to clear those fences pretty regularly. Everybody else better be ready to leg out a lot of triples (unless their name is “Fielder”).

    • cur68 - Dec 5, 2011 at 9:54 AM

      Jeez. My coffee must be weak this morning…LEFT FIELD, not right. Dang, man…

    • Jonny 5 - Dec 5, 2011 at 10:07 AM

      On Fielder, I bet he gets to third faster (note:not fatter, ok well fatter, but not my point) Than Sir Albert, or Howard.

      • cur68 - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:35 PM

        Man’s got an intheparker on his CV: was like watching suped up dump truck run the bases. Never fails to get a laugh when I do my Prince Fileder inside-the-park homerun trot.

  4. lanjoith - Dec 5, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    The rumor goes that the first time Griffey Jr. took BP at Safeco park he immediately got on the phone with his agent and said “get me outta here”. Was crushing balls that were only going 2-3 rows deep. It will be harder to attract free agent power hitters if your park has a rep as a “pitchers park”.

  5. yettyskills - Dec 5, 2011 at 11:52 AM

    I swear this place is like the land of the clueless at times. Petco’s dimensions are not what makes it a pitchers park, its the thick dense ocean air that rolls into the park.

    • Old Gator - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:04 PM

      Yeah, and it’s too far from the harbor for the outfielders to be distracted by the whale migrations.

  6. marshmallowsnake - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:00 PM

    Who designed that? A soccer player?

    • Old Gator - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:07 PM

      Ugh. Backandforthandbackandforthandbackandforthball. Snorrrrrrr….

      In other news: big light in sky slated to appear in east. Sonic booms startle minority groups in Sector R. And there’s hamburger all over the highway in Mystic, Connecticut. In sports, the Macondo Feeshwrapper is reporting today that the Jose Reyes deal is for $102 million, with a four million dollar buyout option for a seventh year.

  7. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Dec 5, 2011 at 12:34 PM

    I think working for Loria should be more of a speedbump in signing FA’s than a large outfield, in my humble opinion.

  8. xmatt0926x - Dec 5, 2011 at 2:33 PM

    I just don’t see where intentionally creating a larger than avererage park ever works out (assuming it plays that way). Maybe I just have the recent offensive struggles of the Padres and Mets fresh in my head but these things always seem to end up the same way. The team’s offense stinks because they can’t find enough players who’s offensive skillset works in these canyons and they end up wishing that they never built the park with those dimensions to begin with. It just seems to me that there are many more average speed players with some average pop in their bat as compared to the line drive, gap hitting speedsters needed to fill a lineup for one of these teams. Yeah, a freak of nature like Stanton will still bang out 35 homers and Reyes seems to have the exact skillset for a larger park but what about the rest of the world whos offensive skills don’t go to either of those extremes?

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