Though Padres fans are anxiously awaiting the return of Fernando Tatis Jr., it seems he’ll be down for at least another week. Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that Tatis is not yet even running at full speed. Yesterday was an off-day in the budding superstar’s rehab work, and there’s no definite timeline on his activation. The 20-year-old Tatis posted an outstanding .300/.360/.550 slash with six homers, five doubles, a triple and six stolen bases through his first 27 games and 111 plate appearances and helped fuel a surprisingly strong April for the upstart Padres. Since Tatis went down with his hamstring injury, San Diego has gone 6-7, though they’ve had a tough schedule that included a four-game set in Atlanta, three games hosting the Dodgers and three games at Coors Field.
More from the NL West…
- USA Today’s Bob Nightengale spoke to a number of Giants players about the likely rebuild that is on the horizon. The writing has been on the wall in San Francisco for some time now, and many in the clubhouse sound almost resigned to their fate. “It would definitely suck to leave these guys, but it’s a business,” said closer Will Smith — an obvious trade candidate given that he’ll be a free agent at season’s end. “We’ve all pretty much been traded. So, it’s not anything new to us. We’d just hate to see it happen.” Manager Bruce Bochy, who has already announced that he’ll retire after 2019, said he understands whatever path the new front office takes but also voiced that it’d be painful to see a rebuild begin when he won’t be around to see it through. “If you’re in a rebuilding situation, that can be a fun challenge if you’re there for the rebuild,” the skipper stated. “But I’m not going to be here.”
- Of course, if (or when) the Giants do indeed embark on a sell-off, Madison Bumgarner will be the top piece available. Bumgarner updated his no-trade clause over the winter, and the lefty said this weekend that he did so in order to gain more control over the process in a theoretical trade scenario (Twitter link via The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly). While his former list included losing clubs in markets Bumgarner did not want to pitch, he updated the list to reflect eight likely contenders, giving him some leverage when the Giants begin shopping him around. Relievers Smith, Sam Dyson, Tony Watson and Nick Vincent all seem like clear trade candidates in addition to Bumgarner. Smith, Watson and Vincent can all become free agents this winter, while Dyson is only controlled through 2020.
- The Diamondbacks gave Zack Godley a start Sunday not long after initially pulling him from the rotation, but he only faced the Braves’ lineup one time before being pulled after two scoreless innings. Per Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, manager Torey Lovullo said after the game that that pitching plan was “by design,” though it curiously sounds as if that was not communicated to Godley himself. The right-hander didn’t voice any frustration and said he wouldn’t have prepared for the game any differently had he known he’d be used more like an opener, but he also said he simply wasn’t aware of the plan. Godley, in his career, has held opponents to a .225/.298/.320 batting line during his first trip through the lineup, but those numbers soar to .281/.363/.482 on his second trip through the lineup. It’s not clear if the D-backs plan to continue that manner of usage at this time, though yesterday’s results were undoubtedly encouraging.