While sitting inside the Marlins bullpen Wednesday, A.J. Ramos and Mike Dunn began pumping their fists the moment they saw Giancarlo Stanton’s long line drive head in their direction. They knew it was a home run the second the ball left his bat.
But they had to duck and take cover when the ball caromed off the small scoreboard and nearly hit them in the head. The two relievers aren’t used to that sort of thing out in their neck of the woods. Not even Stanton hits them there that often.
If opposite field shots start to become a more common occurrence for Stanton, Marlins relievers won’t be the only ones taking note. Opposing pitchers would likely end up doing the same.
“I would if I was sitting there trying you put a game plan together and he’s starting to drive the ball to right field a lot more,” manager Mike Redmond said. “If he can do that, that would probably mean that guys would have to start coming in more on him [and] that’s probably not a good idea.”
Of Stanton’s 118 career home runs, only 15 have been hit from the gap in right-center to the line in right.
“He can hit balls out of any ballpark to right field,” Redmond said. “It’s just a matter of him gaining that experience and confidence to hit the ball the other way.”
The Marlins failed to show fans replays of Wednesday’s challenged call on the stadium scoreboard but will begin doing so from this point forward, according to team president David Samson.
In the past, controversial and close calls were never displayed in ballparks, unlike in other sports. But Major League Baseball’s new challenge rules permit the plays under review to be shown.
On Thursday, the Rockies’ challenge of a close play at first was shown on the scoreboard several times as umpires were reviewing it, and fans seemed to get into it, concurring with the original call that Marcell Ozuna was safe on a play at first and chanting “Safe! Safe!” After going over the replays, the call ended up being confirmed.
• Friday: Marlins RHP Tom Koehler (5-10, 4.41 in 2013) vs. San Diego Padres LHP Eric Stults (11-13, 3.93 ERA in 2013), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Saturday: Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez (1-0, 1.50) vs. Padres RHP Andrew Cashner (0-0, 1.50), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.