Petco Park claims another victim as Padres fire hitting coach Randy Ready

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Earlier this season general manager Jed Hoyer tried to deflect criticism aimed at hitting coach Randy Ready for the Padres’ offensive struggles, but today the team fired Ready after 2.5 seasons on the job.

San Diego scored the second-fewest runs in the league, so firing the hitting coach certainly isn’t shocking, but it’s worth noting that Petco Park played a huge role in those weak scoring totals. Away from the majors’ most extreme hitters’ ballpark the Padres scored the NL’s sixth-most road runs.

In other words, when playing in normal, non-extreme hitting environments the Padres’ lineup was slightly above average. When playing at home they were horrendous, but Petco Park turns just about every offense into a punchless one. Which is why in eight seasons calling Petco Park home the Padres have ranked 8th, 13th, 13th, 9th, 16th, 15th, 12th, and 15th among NL teams in overall scoring.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.