11:24PM: Season-ending shoulder surgery “would be on the table” for Tatis if he doesn’t show improvement during his 10-day IL stint, Tinger told The Athletic’s Dennis Lin and other reporters. However, Tatis is intent on playing again this year.
6:01PM: The Padres have placed shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. and right-hander Chris Paddack on the 10-day injured list. Tatis is on the IL with left shoulder inflammation, after leaving last night’s game with a shoulder problem following a slide into third base. Paddack has been sidelined with a left oblique strain, and his placement is retroactive to July 28.
In corresponding moves, the Padres also optioned righty Nabil Crismatt to Triple-A while calling up right-handers Miguel Diaz and Reiss Knehr, and newly-acquired outfielder Jake Marisnick was added to the active roster.
This is the second time Tatis’ bothersome left shoulder has sent him to the injured list this season, as he suffered a slight labrum tear back in early April but ended up missing only a minimal amount of time. Tatis has since missed a couple of games with mild shoulder soreness, but Padres manager Jayce Tingler told Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune (Twitter links) and other reporters that Tatis’ shoulder was “more sore” in the aftermath of this injury than in his past shoulder aggravations.
According to Acee, there isn’t yet any indication that the Padres are considering shutting Tatis down in the wake of these recurring injuries. If surgery is the only way to fully correct the problem, that would obviously sideline Tatis for the rest of this season and potentially into 2022, depending on the extent of the procedure and the severity of the shoulder damage. The fact that Tatis has been able to bounce back multiple times this year and still produce at a superstar level provides some hope that he’ll also be able to recover from this latest setback, though it would seem to appear that Tatis will require more than just the minimum 10 days of recovery time.
There is no way to actually replace Tatis, of course, though San Diego’s acquisition of Adam Frazier last week now looks all the more important. Jake Cronenworth can slide over to shortstop while Frazier takes over as planned at second base, but that scenario also interrupts the Padres’ initial plan — using Cronenworth at first base and Frazier as a super-utilityman around the diamond, providing cover for and depth behind Eric Hosmer and Wil Myers. Ha-Seong Kim and Jurickson Profar are also on hand as utility options.
Losing Paddack is also no small matter for the Padres, who have been consistently hampered by rotation injuries all season. San Diego was rumored to be looking at multiple starters prior to the trade deadline, but reliever Daniel Hudson ended up being their only new arm. Paddack was scheduled to start on Sunday, but the Padres might now turn to Knehr or another option for tomorrow’s game.
Paddack has pitched better (3.92 SIERA) than his 5.13 ERA would indicate, though he has allowed a lot of hard contact. Perhaps the key stat is 93 innings pitched, as Paddack has been a reliably durable member of the starting staff apart from a 10-day COVID absence early in the season. The right-hander has a below-average strikeout rate but he has been one of the best at limiting free passes; Paddack’s walk rate is only five percent.