Marlins notice changes in ballpark turf

Marlins notice changes in ballpark turf

MIAMI -- At Marlins Park, the grass literally is greener.

This year, the Marlins decided to use different brands of turf than they did last season.

Now, the field is a bright green, and the new surface is very slick compared a year ago, when it was more sandy and did not grow consistently.

"It's firm and fast," center fielder Justin Ruggiano said. "Compared to last year, it's great. They've done a great job with it. I think as the season goes on, it will get a little thicker, maybe. I'm guessing.

"I was an agricultural major, so I should know. I should know they have a combination of grasses out there, and how long it will take."

A year ago, the brand of turf used on the field was called Celebration. It had a tough time growing because of the unpredictable rain patterns at Marlins Park. The need to close the roof prevented the grass from getting steady stretches of sunlight.

The park now has two different styles of grass. In the field and foul territory is Platinum TE Paspalum, and in the outfield is Tifway 419, a type of Bermuda grass, which is similar to what is used at Turner Field in Atlanta.

"I found myself in BP, I had to take deeper routes, and make deeper angles to balls," Ruggiano said. "It skips like off a fairway, like on a golf course. But it's good. We'll get used to it. Play it to our advantage, hopefully."

In 2012, balls to the outfield would kick up divots on the softer, sandier turf.

"There were some balls, I'd be running to it to catch on one hop, and it would hop and go behind me," Ruggiano said. "I can think of numerous times that has happened."

Second baseman Donovan Solano echoed what Ruggiano said when it came to the infield.

"It's different than last year," Solano said. "The grass is quicker here, it's faster. I can see a difference."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter