Petco Park home of the San Diego Padres is one of the toughest places to hit in all of the MLB. Pitchers love pitching there because of all the space. The Padres have two very good defensive outfielders in CF Cameron Maybin (9.5 UZR in 2011) and RF Will Venable (4.4 UZR in 2011). In order to make the following pitchers even more of a success in San Diego, the Padres need to get a left fielder that can also play excellent defence. This is fairly easy to do they just need to reunite with Tony Gwinn Jr (8.2 UZR in 2011). He along with Maybin and Venable will form one of the top if not the top defensive outfield in the MLB. This scenario would be heaven for fly ball pitchers. With that here are some starting pitching targets for the Padres. (Stats from 2011)
Free Agent Targets
Fly Ball %
Colby Lewis (TEX)
Scott Baker (MIN)
Guillermo Moscoso (OAK)
Scott Kazmir (2010)
These starters would all have great success in Petco Park. Each of them gives up fly balls more than 40% of the time. Chen and Vazquez both already are successful pitchers and adding them to San Diego would make them even more effective.
For a guy like Lewis his ERA is high due to him pitching in the bandbox in Texas. If San Diego was able to acquire him his ERA would lower, his HR/9 would drop he would have much more success with the Padres. Baker and Moscoso both play in pitchers parks in Minnesota and Oakland, but the added effect of the defence San Diego could provide would make their number even smaller.
The gambles on Kazmir and Harden would be very high risk, very high reward. If Kazmir was able to return to the ace he was in Tampa, the Padres would love that. The risk is that he flops and costs the Padres games early in the year. He is a good gamble to take in my opinion. Harden has the stuff to be an ace. The issue with him throughout his career is injuries. If he can stay healthy for at least half a season, then the Padres could trade him at the deadline for a prospect.
Overall these fly ball pitchers would all have great success in San Diego. The only risk would be the money required to sign the players and the players given up in trades. In my opinion if I was a GM I would take a look at these guys and see if I could bring them into the organization. If they have success great, the Padres could be contenting with them. If they’re not contending, but success is happing for the pitchers, than deal them at the deadline for some younger talent. The opportunity cost of getting these players would be worth it for the Padres. The Padres don’t plan on contending this season so why not gamble on some players and see if you can?Comments are appreciated let me know how I’m doing and what I can improve on thanks. You can follow me on twitter @PaulBerthelot and you can "like" Ol Ball Game on Facebook too.