Work in progress to move fences in at Marlins Park

In the four years since Marlins Park opened, 412 homers have been hit, the second-lowest total in the majors behind 411 homers at San Francisco's AT&T Park.

MIAMI (AP) — The outfield fence will be easier to clear this year at Marlins Park, and Miami Marlins newcomer Wei-Yin Chen says that’s not all bad, even though he’s a pitcher.

"We have a very good hitting coach in Barry Bonds," the Taiwanese left-hander said through a translator. "So with the fence moving in, maybe he will help me to hit some more home runs."

Marlins Park will likely remain pitcher-friendly, but work is underway to make the dimensions less daunting for hitters. The center field wall is being moved 11 feet closer to home plate and will be 407 feet away this season.

"That’s the biggest change," team president David Samson said.

In addition, the Marlins are lowering the fence. The height previously ranged from 11 to 13 feet, and with the redesign, it will be 6 to 11 feet. Outfield video boards will remain 11 1/2 feet high.

Right fielder Giancarlo Stanton will now be taller than the 6-foot-high fence behind him.

"That gives Giancarlo the ability to jump up and reach over and steal home runs," Samson said.

In the four years since Marlins Park opened, only 412 homers have been hit. That’s the second lowest total in the majors, behind 411 homers at San Francisco’s AT&T Park.

Stanton, the Marlins’ $325 million slugger, has long contended the park doesn’t play fair because it’s too roomy, and the ball doesn’t carry well under a retractable roof that is almost always closed.

Workers are on schedule to complete the redesign before opening day against the Tigers on April 5. Marlins Park is scheduled to host the All-Star Game — and the Home Run Derby — in 2017.