Fernando Tatis Jr. announced this afternoon that he will undergo surgery on his left shoulder (relayed by Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune and Darnay Tripp of NBC 7 San Diego). The Padres star is already out for the rest of the 2022 season after MLB handed down an 80-game suspension this month once Tatis tested positive for the banned performance-enhancing drug Closetebol. The surgery, which will take place shortly, is not expected to sideline Tatis beyond the length of his suspension, relays via AJ Cassavell of MLB.com.
It’s a somewhat surprising development, as there was no previous indication that surgery was again under consideration. Tatis twice landed on the IL with shoulder issues last season, missing the minimal ten days in April and another couple of weeks in August. In both instances, he suffered the injury on basic baseball activities — his first occurring on a swing, his second sliding into a base. Both injuries initially seemed to have the potential for extended absences, but Tatis returned in relatively short order each time.
There was some speculation Tatis may need to go under the knife, but he declined to undergo surgery at the end of last season. His plans to play through any discomfort this year were twice dashed — first by an offseason fracture in his left wrist sustained in a motorcycle accident, then by the suspension. Tatis underwent wrist surgery this spring. Initially expected to return around June, his recovery nevertheless lingered into the late summer. He embarked on a minor league rehab assignment at the start of this month, but MLB announced the stunning news of his failed PED test after just four Double-A games.
That suspension will carry over into the start of next season. Tatis will miss the final 48 regular season games of the 2022 campaign, leaving him with 32 more games to serve after this regular season. Any lost postseason contests (should San Diego qualify) will also count against the tally, but Tatis would miss a month or more of the 2023 campaign if the Friars don’t go on an extended playoff run this year. With the lengthy absence already in play, it seems Tatis and the organization decided the time was right for him to correct the shoulder woes.