Remember that big 73-foot statue in left-center field at Marlins Park?
It turned out to be a pretty good target during the Marlins' first batting practice session Tuesday night.
Luke Montz, a 28-year old catcher who spent last season in Double A Jacksonvile, was the first to smack it with a home run. He hit it twice. Marlins catcher John Buck drilled it once, as did third baseman Hanley Ramirez.
"You wonder if your going to hear that noise if you hit in in the game," said Montz, who hit 22 homers last season in Double A. "Like Buck said it felt like you hit your dad or grandpa on the arm with a ball."
The Marlins are experimenting with the different field conditions created by having the retractable roof both opened and closed as well as when the glass panels beyond the outfield are open and closed.
Tonight against UM, the roof will remain open and the glass panels closed. So far, that's created strong winds that are blowing out.
Wednesday night against FIU, when Giancarlo Stanton makes the trip down from Jupiter, the Marlins will close the roof and open the windows.
UM FRESHMAN EAGER TO FACE MARLINS
Left-handed freshman Andrew Suarez, a ninth round pick by the Blue Jays who was an All-Dade First Team selection last year at Miami Columbus High, will start against the Marlins tonight for the Hurricanes.
It's his first start at the college level. Suarez has a 19.29 ERA in two appearances for this season, but says he's not nervous about facing a lineup that features Hanley Ramirez, Gaby Sanchez and Logan Morrison.
Suarez's little brother, Kevin, played at the park Monday night when Columbus beat Belen in the first exhibition at the new stadium. Andrew said he was coached by former Marlin Alex Fernandez in little league.
"I'm excited to be playing against the Marlins. They're the team I grew up rooting for. I have no idea what I'm going to throw. Whatever sign they give me, I'm going to throw what they ask for and try to keep the ball low," Suarez said.