Corey Brock has a nice story up over at MLB.com today about the changes in dimensions at Petco Park. The facts on the ground so far are interesting — Brock notes that three home runs — all by the opposition — would have been long outs before the fences were moved in. The overall thrust of things seems to be that the dimension changes won’t be dramatic, buy will make things more fair.
I’m far more interested in the stuff he writes about climate in San Diego being the much bigger factor, which certainly sqaures with my experiences there. I’ve told this story before, but a few years ago my brother and I went to doubleheader of sorts at Petco. The day game featured the Lake Elsinore
Dragons Storm [I don’t know what I was thinking] the Padres’ high-A team, playing a “home” game there. The ball flew out of the park with multiple homers being hit by guys that were likely never to make the bigs. Then around 7pm-7:30 the marine layer rolled in and the temperature dropped and the ball just friggin’ died on everything hit up in the air.
The fences aren’t going to fix that. Nothing likely will given the geography of the place. But as someone rather partial to pitching, I’m not sure I care all that much.
Pablo Sandoval could be tabbed to play second base in the near future, per a report from John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. According to Shea, Sandoval has been spotted taking grounders at second during pre-game warm-ups and may be considering switching to the keystone on a part-time basis.
It wouldn’t be the weirdest thing the 31-year-old corner infielder has done this year — that distinction goes to the flawless inning of relief he pitched in a blowout loss against the Dodgers last month. But it would represent a pretty notable departure from his comfort zone even so; Sandoval has primarily manned first and third base throughout his 11-year career in the majors and has also taken a few reps at DH during his resurgence with the Giants in 2018.
Of course, this wouldn’t necessarily be a permanent switch for Sandoval. As Shea points out, the Giants are thin on middle infielders after losing Joe Panik to a torn UCL in his left thumb and backup Alen Hanson to a left hamstring strain. Provided he can get up to speed quickly (no easy feat, according to infield coach Ron Wotus), he’d give the club some added depth behind Kelby Tomlinson and Miguel Gomez until Panik is ready to take the field again. Sandoval has impressed at the plate this spring, batting a healthy .270/.329/.429 with six extra-base hits and a .757 through 70 plate appearances.