Padres Editorial: How Will James Shields Fare in the NL West?

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Home Sweet Home

Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

First let’s look at how Shields has performed at his new home ballpark. He’ll be pitching roughly half of his intra-divisional matchups at Petco Park, so it makes sense to look at his stat here first.

Shields actually had never pitched at Petco Park until this past season and he liked it so much he decided that he wanted to pitch half his games for the next four, or maybe even five, years. It’s not hard to see why Shields enjoyed his one and only start in San Diego. Aside from the beautiful weather and the fact he was only roughly 100 miles from home, he also pitched great. He tossed seven shutout innings on seven hits while striking out four.

His success in that start can likely be attributed in large part to the Padres’ league-worst offense, but the pitcher-friendly dimensions likely helped a little too. The park dimensions, unlike the woeful 2014 Padre lineup, will be there every time he takes the mound at Petco. He’s already shown he can take advantage of it once, and the more hew pitches at home the more comfortable he will be the park.