Marlins Park fences to be moved in, lowered soon

Club awaiting approval on permits to begin construction

Marlins Park fences to be moved in, lowered soon

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Marlins Park is close to having a new look before Opening Day, and the modifications promise to be especially attractive to hitters.

Marlins president David Samson said Tuesday the club is awaiting approval on the necessary permits to begin construction, which could take place as early as next month. Once the paperwork is in order, the fences will be moved in and lowered in certain sections of the outfield.

"We're changing the heights of the fences in different places," Samson said on Tuesday at the Winter Meetings. "It's going to have a very cool look to it."

Currently, 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 in right-center.

Along with being one of the deepest parks, the walls also are high, ranging from 11 1/2 to 13 feet.

The revisions will have a change in heights, going from as low as 5 1/2 feet to 11 1/2 feet. Now, left fielder Christian Yelich and right fielder Giancarlo Stanton will be in front of shorter walls.

The area being moved in is in center field, extending to right-center. Down the line, the distances will remain 344 and 335. And the out-of-town scoreboard built into the wall in left-center will not change.

From the base of the home run sculpture in center, a lowered wall will extend to the corner of the right-field bullpen, listed at 392 feet.

The walls will be lowered in left and right fields, as well as straightaway center, which will be around 407 feet, instead of 418.

"The people it will impact the most are Yelich and Stanton on the defensive side," Samson said. "On the offensive side, it remains to be seen."

Marlins Park will open for its fifth season in 2016, and from its inaugural season, hitters complained, mostly privately, that the park played too big. Many felt they weren't rewarded for having an approach to hit the ball up the middle.

"It will be interesting to see what it means psychologically," Samson said. "That's the one thing we can't measure."

In 2015, the Marlins ranked tied for 28th in home runs at home (53) and last in the Majors in doubles (110).

"There are some players who say, 'When it plays smaller, I feel better about myself,'" Samson said.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.