Since its creation in 2004, only blocks from the Pacific Ocean, San Diego’s Petco Park has been hailed as a pitcher’s paradise and “a Grand Canyon of major league parks.”
It was recently voted as one of the top 10 Major League Ballparks by TripAdvisor.
A major renovation was completed over the off-season.
The deep left-center field wall was brought in 12 feet, from 402 feet to 390. The right-center field wall was brought in 11 feet, from 402 to 391. Also, the right field wall, just in front of “The Beach,” was brought in 11 feet, from 360 feet to 349. The right and right-center walls will also be lowered from 11 feet to eight.
The marine layer that hangs heavy, especially in the months of April and May, makes it harder for hitters to send one over the fences.
The changes to Petco take away the longer gaps where the outfielders had room to run, and they know they’re going to have to make some adjustments defensively.
“In right field, before, you could run all day and not run into a wall,” outfielder Will Venable told Padres. com.
“I kind of had the freedom of a center fielder," Venable said. "Now this year obviously that’s not going to be the case the wall’s going to come up on you a little quicker and you just have to make some adjustments but it will allow us to be more aggressive and play a little more shallow.”
Center fielder Cameron Maybin, says the changes will allow him to create even more plays than his long legs have provided him in the past.
“It’ll make me a lot more aggressive,” Maybin told the team's website. “And give me the opportunity to make a lot of plays in front of me this year which will be great. A lot of times at Petco those short ones were able to fall so that’ll allow me to play even closer which is something I’m very comfortable with is going back on balls. It’ll allow me to take away those early bloopers that get rallies started.”
Padres pitchers have enjoyed the long dimensions to bolster their home stats. For example, last season starter Clayton Richard had an ERA of 3.02 at home versus 4.74 on the road. Righty Luke Gregerson also had a significant difference his home against road statistics, 1.49 ERA at home, and 3.68 away.
Historically, the numbers have shifted along with the fences when parks and fences change. But for now, all the projections of how this will affect the 2013 Padres are just that: projections. The actual differences remain to be seen.