Work begins on right-center-field fence at Citi Field

Mets plan to draw in the fence in front of both bullpens

Work begins on right-center-field fence at Citi Field

SAN FRANCISCO -- Construction is underway to move portions of Citi Field's outfield fence closer to home plate for the second time in three years.

The Mets on Wednesday released pictures of their initial stages of fence reconstruction, revealing a modified wall in right-center field. A team official said right-center is the only part of Citi Field that the Mets plan to alter; they will release exact dimensions at a later date. General manager Sandy Alderson did not respond to a message seeking comment.

Construction photos reveal that the Mets plan to draw in the fence in front of both bullpens in right-center field, shaving off some of the odd angles resulting from the club's more significant fence overhaul three years ago. That year, the Mets drew in significant portions of the fence in left-, right-center and right fields, also making the entire wall a uniform eight feet in height and painting it blue.

The changes transformed Citi Field from one of the toughest parks in baseball to hit a home run to roughly league average in that department. They did not, however, alter Citi Field's reputation as one of the foremost pitcher's parks in baseball. The Mets hit 59 home runs at Citi Field this season, compared to the league average of 70. They scored a total of 286 runs there, compared to the league average of 332.

Alderson has previously insisted that the Mets are not changing their dimensions specifically to help Curtis Granderson, Lucas Duda, David Wright or any of the team's other power hitters, who by and large performed better on the road.

"It's not about tailoring the ballpark to a particular player or a particular composition of team," Alderson said last month. "It's about making Citi Field as fan-friendly and as exciting as we can make it."

In theory, altering Citi Field's dimensions will hurt the Mets as much as it helps them. But the organization boasts a sizeable stable of young pitchers, including Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler and Jacob deGrom, who excel at striking out batters and limiting fly balls.

They also have a lineup full of hitters who have struggled to hit home runs in recent years, both at Citi Field and on the road. Moving the wall in right-center field should help the homer totals of Granderson and Duda in particular, in addition to providing an unquantifiable psychological boost.

"We've got guys that hit the ball in that area," manager Terry Collins said last month. "That's a big area for Curtis. David made a career of hitting the ball in that area. I think it would help Lucas. Travis [d'Arnaud], one of the things people talk about is his power to the opposite field. So it may help him. You walk in and say, 'Hey, it's reachable.'"

Anthony DiComo is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDicomo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.