Superstar shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., who has yet to play in 2022 following March surgery to repair a wrist fracture, has joined the Padres on their current road trip, reports Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union Tribune (Twitter link). Tatis had previously been working out at the team’s spring training complex in Peoria, but he’s now able to run and take grounders with his teammates. While his ultimate return date remains unclear, Acee reports that the there is ’optimism’ that Tatis will be cleared to swing a bat following a scan of the surgically repaired wrist upon the team’s return to San Diego next week.
Other injury notes from around the league:
- Dennis Lin of The Athletic reports that Manny Machado’s absence from the final two games of the Padres’ weekend series against the Pirates was a result of a cortisone injection he’d received to alleviate issues with tennis elbow, a repetitive strain injury to upper forearm muscles most commonly seen among tennis players. The injection was evidently successful, as Machado is back in the Padres lineup in today’s game against the Cardinals. Ha-Seong Kim took Machado’s place at third in his absence.
- High-end Pirates prospect Oneil Cruz suffered what is currently termed a ’minor’ ankle injury while sliding into a base while playing for Triple-A Indianapolis Sunday, reports Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The severity of the injury is not yet known, though he did leave the game. A consensus top-25 prospect, the 6’7″ shortstop has posted a disappointing .220/.330/.402 batting line through his first 191 plate appearances at Triple-A, though he remains a strong candidate for a mid-season call-up for a Pirates team that’s currently ten games back in the NL Central and isn’t expected to vie for a wild card spot. He logged nine plate appearances and three hits (including a home run) in a two-game cameo in the majors late last season.
- Left-hander Steven Matz, who hit the IL a week ago with a shoulder impingement, has received a cortisone injection in his left shoulder, reports Katie Woo of The Athletic. Matz has gotten off to something of a slow start in St. Louis since signing a four-year, $44MM deal with the Cardinals a week ahead of the lockout, posting a 6.03 ERA (4.29 FIP) in 37 1/3 innings prior to his current IL stint. It’s a tiny sample, of course, and his issues seem to have been driven largely by bad luck, including a .350 BABIP (against a .310 career mark) and an elevated home run rate of 4.9% (3.7% career) without a significant change in his fly ball rate. Both his strikeout rate of 26.8% and walk rate of 4.9% have been better than his career marks (22.5% and 4.9%, respectively). The timeline for his return remains unclear.