Marlins Park boasts some of the largest outfield dimensions of any stadium in the majors, so it’s no surprise that some of the team’s hitters would like to see the fences moved in. Count Logan Morrison among them.
Morrison has blasted five home runs in 158 plate appearances on the road this season compared to just one home run in 155 plate appearances at home. While he doesn’t blame his power outage solely on Marlins Park, he tells Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald that it has played a part.
“It’s definitely a factor,” Morrison said of the Marlins’ huge ballpark. “And that translates into the average not being there, too. You drive balls to the wall and they get caught. Not only is it not a homer, it’s not a hit.”
Morrison is not alone among Marlins players who would like to see the team bring the fences in.
“I think that would make it fair,” Morrison said. “But it’s not my decision.”
Marlins Park might stifle power production, but ESPN’s Park Factors notes that was 16th in the majors in run production last year and is tied for ninth this year. In other words, while balls might not be going over the fence, the vast dimensions allow for plenty of hits to fall. Morrison is an example of this, as he has a .257 batting average at home compared to a .228 batting average on the road. Still, if the fences are having an impact on the morale of the offense — it’s bad enough being a Marlin — it could be worth it to make the change. Besides, doesn’t Jeffrey Loria want the home run sculpture to do its magic?
It’s worth mentioning that Giancarlo Stanton might be wondering what the fuss is all about, as he produced significantly better at Marlins Park than anywhere else this season. Of course, he could probably play his home games in the Grand Canyon and still be successful.
Confirming a report from Tuesday, the Diamondbacks officially signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Friday. The 39-year-old stands to receive up to $4 million in incentives, per Jack MacGruder of FanRag Sports, with $250,000 kicking in when the veteran reaches 40, 50 and 60 appearances and $500,000 if he reaches 70.
Rodney came three games shy of the 70-appearance mark in 2016 during back-to-back stints with the Padres and Marlins. He put up a cumulative 3.44 ERA on the year, which effectively disguised the extreme split during his performances in San Diego and Miami. The Diamondbacks aren’t anywhere close to contending in 2017, but Rodney should stabilize the back end of their bullpen while providing Arizona GM Mike Hazen with a potential trade chip during next year’s deadline.
Hazen issued a statement following the signing:
With Fernando, we’re getting an established Major League closer and a veteran presence in the bullpen. It is helpful to have someone with his experience on the back end to slow the game down and get the final three outs.
The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.
The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.
For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.