According to the San Diego Union Tribune, the Padres are currently considering adopting an adjustment in the dimensions of their home ballpark.
“We’re open-minded and we’re seriously considering it,” Padres interim CEO Tom Garfinkel said Tuesday.
“I do believe it is too extreme right now. It will still be a pitcher’s ballpark. But a hitter should be rewarded if he crushes it. And if a team is down 4-0, they should feel there is some hope. It’s just too extreme.”
Petco is, of course, well known as the best pitcher’s park in baseball, and especially so for right-handers who benefit from the amount of space in right-center field specifically. The 400 foot distance to right-center makes it the hardest place in baseball for a left-handed hitter to pull a home run. In fact, no stadium affects any other outcome as much as Petco deflates home runs by left-handed hitters. As Garfinkel notes, the park is just too extreme, especially in that specific area. Right-handed pull hitters can survive – which was part of the reason the Padres acquired Carlos Quentin – but left-handed pull hitters just have little chance of success in San Diego.
While it’s true that the park has given the team the ability to build up quality pitching staffs without expending too many resources on premium arms, the Padres ability to develop quality left-handed bats is severely compromised by the park they play in. Bringing in the fences in right-center field is probably in the best interest of the franchise.
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