See how the Giants are changing Oracle Park’s dimensions, where the new bullpens will go

SF Giants move bullpens from foul territory at Oracle Park to behind outfield wall

A rendering of the new-look center field bullpens the Giants will add to Oracle Park starting in 2020. (Courtesy of the Giants)
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The Giants’ home field just got a little smaller.

Oracle Park’s outfield is shrinking as the Giants are moving their bullpens from foul territory to behind the stadium’s outfield wall, the team announced Thursday.

One of the stadium’s iconic features, Triples Alley, is losing six feet of depth, dropping from 421 feet away from home plate to 415 feet.

Center field bullpens rendering at Oracle Park
A rendering of the new-look center field bullpens the Giants will add to Oracle Park starting in 2020. (Courtesy of the Giants)

The corner in left center field will now measure at 399 feet, down from 404, while the center field fence will move from 399 feet to 391. The center field fence will also be shortened in height from eight feet to seven feet.

The decision to move the bullpens from foul territory to the outfield is giving the Giants a chance to create terraces that will be built into the bleachers.

The changes to the stadium’s dimensions aren’t drastic enough to turn Oracle Park from a pitcher’s paradise into a hitter’s park, but batters that do square up pitches and send them toward straightaway center field stand to benefit.

After two decades of having the bullpens on the playing field, the Giants elected to move them this offseason in an effort to increase player safety. Several players have suffered injuries resulting due to the bullpen mounds with former Giants outfielder Mac Williamson’s concussion being the most significant.

In May, 2018, Williamson tumbled over the home bullpen in left field while chasing a flyball hit by former Nationals slugger Bryce Harper. Williamson crashed over the bullpen mound and hit his head along the padded wall at the edge of the field.

Williamson was outspoken in his criticism of the prior location of the bullpens and called on the organization in May to permanently relocate the bullpens to another part of the ballpark.

“Every park has its unique dimensions, unique design,” Williamson said. “I think (Oracle) Park has a view of the bay. It’s very special. It has a lot of unique features about it. In my opinion, I don’t think any feature is unique enough to put a player at risk. It’s not that cool or special or fun.”

Center field bullpens rendering at Oracle Park
A rendering of the new-look center field bullpens the Giants will add to Oracle Park starting in 2020. (Courtesy of the Giants)

The Giants will build gates into the new outfield wall for pitchers to enter and exit the bullpens and will also create padded chain link openings in the wall that will provide viewing spots for players and fans.

A new home for the bullpens is not the only change coming to Oracle Park in 2020 as the Giants will also be one of seven teams to extend protective netting from behind home plate all the way to the foul poles. The decision to extend netting is part of a broader initiative across MLB to enhance fans’ safety.

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