By Tom Withers | The Associated Press

CLEVELAND (AP) — The Indians are expanding the safety netting at Progressive Field for the 2018 season.

The club will extend the current vertical netting behind home plate down the first- and third-base lines to the ends of the dugouts in an effort to better protect fans from hard-hit foul balls and bats flying into the stands. Also, the canopy nets will be extended slightly down the third-base line.

The AL Central champions are prioritizing fan safety while using the latest technology to “minimize the intrusion on the live-game experience” at the ballpark.

Jim Folk, the team’s vice president of ballpark operations, says the changes balance the interactivity of the game with the top priority of safety.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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