Is Marlins Park too pitcher-friendly?

MIAMI — For the most part, Marlins Park has been a big hit for the Marlins in an otherwise rough season.

With its retractable roof, the elements don’t play a factor. Games are played on-time and in comfort.

But from a run-production standpoint, the ballpark hasn’t been kind to hitters. According to StatsPass research, Marlins Park ranks 26th overall in total home runs (84), and teams are averaging 8.32 runs per game, which rates 19th out of 30 buildings.

Now, you can’t blame the ballpark for the Marlins being shutout in three straight games, the first time that has happened in franchise history. The club snapped the streak in the fourth inning on Wednesday, snapping a club-record drought at 30 consecutive scoreless innings.

But, you could wonder if the spacious park has caused hitters to alter their swings. Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, an astute evaluator of hitters, says it is certainly possible.

“If you’re a hitter, and you usually hit home runs, it will make you swing harder, or make you think about swinging harder,” Manuel said. “You’ve got to just calm down, and try to hit the ball hard instead of trying to do too much with it.”

There is something psychological about hitting 400-foot fly outs.

“Very much so,” Manuel said. “I think they might try to put more into their swing. They’ll try to actually swing harder. When you start swinging harder, you’re more apt to not be in control of your swing.”

Center field is 418 feet, with a high wall. In left-center, the gap is 386 feet, and 392 feet in right-center.

If the dimensions stay as is, Marlins Park could develop the reputation of buildings like AT&T Park. The Giants are known for their pitching, but many accomplished hitters aren’t fond of playing there. If that is the case, will power hitters want to sign with the Marlins?

It’s not far-fetched to think so, if they know they can post bigger numbers elsewhere.

Entering Wednesday, according to StatsPass, here is where each ballpark ranked in terms of home runs and average runs per game.

Ballparks Ranked By Most Home Runs, 2012

Coors Field                    170

Miller Park                    167

Yankee Stadium                 166

Camden Yards                   164

U.S. Cellular Field            162

Rogers Centre                  153

Fenway Park                    150

Great American                 146

Rangers Ballpark               140

Chase Field                    134

Citizens Bank Park             134

Target Field                   128

Minute Maid Park               120

Comerica Park                  119

Citi Field                     111

Progressive Field              107 Coliseum                  107

Angel Stadium                  106

Busch Stadium                  106

Wrigley Field                  105

Turner Field                   102

Nationals Park                  99

Kauffman Stadium                98

Tropicana Field                 95

PNC Park                        95

Marlins Park                    84

Dodger Stadium                  75

Safeco Field                    71

PETCO Park                      65

AT&T Park                       57

Ballparks Ranked By Most Runs/Game, 2012

Coors Field                     12.52 (751/60)

Fenway Park                     10.57 (666/63)

Miller Park                     10.27 (606/59)

Chase Field                     10.16 (579/57)

Rangers Ballpark                10.16 (589/58)

Target Field                    10.10 (606/60)

U.S. Cellular Field              9.91 (575/58)

Rogers Centre                    9.79 (548/56)

Camden Yards                     9.49 (560/59)

Comerica Park                    9.45 (529/56)

Kauffman Stadium                 9.28 (501/54)

Busch Stadium                    8.98 (521/58)

Yankee Stadium                   8.90 (516/58)

Turner Field                     8.83 (530/60)

Progressive Field                8.66 (511/59)

Citizens Bank Park               8.39 (495/59)

Minute Maid Park                 8.37 (494/59)

Great American                   8.35 (476/57)

Marlins Park                     8.32 (491/59)

Wrigley Field                    8.26 (471/57)

Citi Field                       8.21 (476/58)

Nationals Park                   7.98 (431/54)

Angel Stadium                    7.82 (446/57)

Tropicana Field                  7.24 (427/59) Coliseum                    7.22 (419/58)

Dodger Stadium                   7.05 (409/58)

PETCO Park                       7.04 (401/57)

PNC Park                         6.95 (403/58)

AT&T Park                        6.63 (398/60)

Safeco Field                     6.32 (354/56)

Joe Frisaro

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