Padres outfielder Fernando Tatis Jr. is going to begin a rehab assignment today, reports Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Tatis will join the Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas in advance of his expected activation on April 20, when he will have finished serving last year’s PED suspension.
Tatis, 24, was considered one of the top prospects in the sport during his time in the minors. He made good on that hype in his first couple seasons, hitting 39 home runs and stealing 27 bases over 143 games between 2019 and 2020. His .301/.374/.582 batting line in that time amounted to a wRC+ of 151, indicating he was 51% better than the league average hitter. He got mixed reviews for his defense, but held his own at the premium position of shortstop. All that led to 6.4 wins above replacement, per FanGraphs, in less than a full season of work.
Based on his prospect pedigree and fiery arrival in the big leagues, the Padres placed a huge bet on Tatis. They signed him to a 14-year, $340MM extension going into 2021, one of the largest contracts in MLB history. The first season went about as well as expected, as Tatis continued to showcase himself as one of the better players in the league. He hit 42 home runs and stole 25 bases, leading to a .282/.364/.611 batting line and 157 wRC+. That was all despite some shoulder issues limiting him to 130 games and the club pushing him to the outfield for a bit, hoping that would be less taxing than playing shortstop. Even with those hurdles, he still accrued 7.2 fWAR, the highest total among position players that year.
The narrative has been much different since that time, however. He showed up to Spring Training in March of 2021 with a broken wrist, admitting that he had fallen off his motorcycle multiple times during the offseason. He required surgery on that wrist and was expected to miss about three months of the 2022 season, though he remained on the injured list into August as he didn’t return to health as quickly as hoped. He began a rehab assignment that month but it was reported shortly thereafter that he had been given an 80-game suspension after testing positive for Clostebol, a banned performance-enhancing substance. That officially ended any chance he had of playing in the big leagues at all in 2022, making that a completely lost season for him.
While out with the suspension, Tatis underwent shoulder surgery and a follow-up procedure on his wrist, using the downtime to try to get as healthy as possible. In his absence, Ha-Seong Kim had taken over the shortstop job and performed well, though the Friars went into the winter determined to make a big free agent splash. They didn’t land Trea Turner or Aaron Judge but eventually succeeded with Xander Bogaerts. He will now take over the shortstop job, pushing Kim to second and returning Tatis to the outfield, where he played 27 games in 2021.
Tatis was cleared to begin baseball activities in January and came into this year’s spring training healthy, hitting .273/.340/.432 in 16 games. The club’s postseason run counted against his suspension, knocking 12 games off the total, but he still had 20 games remaining at the beginning of the regular season. He’s expected to be activated prior to the club’s game on April 20 against the Diamondbacks but will use the next two weeks to get into game shape in Triple-A contests. Rehab assignments for position players have a maximum length of 20 days.
It’s hard to know what to expect from Tatis after a completely lost season, multiple surgeries and a position change. But if he’s able to get anywhere close to his prior level of performance, he will be a huge difference maker for the Padres as they look to make it back to the postseason again. With a lineup already boasting potent sluggers like Bogaerts, Juan Soto and Manny Machado, a healthy and productive Tatis could take them to another level. Defensively, the club has been using Soto in left and Trent Grisham in center this year, while right field starts have gone to David Dahl, José Azocar and Rougned Odor so far. The return of Tatis while likely cut into the playing time of that latter group, as the designated hitter slot figures to be taken by Nelson Cruz and Matt Carpenter.
“Padres outfielder” uhh hes barely played there. What if Bogaerts gets injured? Tatis will shift back there. He should be called a SS/OF until his OF games played outnumber his SS ones.
If/when X is injured, then we shall call him OF. I’m glad they’re calling him by his defined positional pronoun.
No, I meant Tatis Jr. should be SS/OF, Bogaerts should be SS.
Even if X gets hurt, Ha Seong Kim is gonna be the SS and not Tatis. He’s third, on the depth chart at this point
Maybe even fourth behind Crone Zone, too.
Yeah I was gonna say; I remember him making some sports center flashy plays but no way he’s as good as Kim or Croney there; right? Let alone Bogey
Has good makeup for a corner outfielder….no? Good speed, strong arm
Fun fact: even if he’s not the best defensive SS on the team, no one is arguing that, his stature as a high-paid superstar means he can talk his way back in over there. Not sure why you all seemed to forget about that fact.
Great speed, one of the League’s strongest arms and athletic af. One might say he’s San Diego’s version of a certain young CFer in Seattle… good looking out SODO!
Idk man, if you follow the team and read the quotes, seems like he’s the baby on a team with A BUNCH of high payed superstars and he clearly has to earn some respect back in that locker room and front office; and to his credit he’s openly acknowledged that and seems to be focused on that.
Many times in history have free agents and big money signings forced their way into positions they had no business being in. Nick Castellanos is in no way a MLB OF but he told all teams he had to play there X amount of times, at least 1 year into his deal.
Stephcurry get off tatis jr jock strap we get it you love him nothing you have said has discounted any of the counter points made.
Remember Machado was looking to move back to SS as well a couple of years ago. If Tatis tries to use his paycheck to muscle in I am sure Manny would put an end to that quickly. Tatis just got nailed for PEDs. He needs to sit in the corner and behave himself for awhile. Especially since they could have really used his bat in the playoffs. Making that kind of money and getting busted for PEDs when your team is a legit contender is really foolish.
GM and Manager have already informed Tatis Jr that he is now an OFer.
Castellanos was drafted as a 3B and played there for many years in Detroit.
Nick could see some time at 1B with the Phillies 1B out for the season with injury. Castellanos made some outstanding highlight reel catches in RF
during the Phillies NL Pennant run in cluding the playoffs and WS.
Nowhere near Kim, Cronenworth looked slow at 2nd yesterday compared to HSK.
None of the counterpoints were valid. You are all acting like stats = what happens on the field. Not the case. Sucks you all dont have a clue and I do.
I’m not a Tatis fanboy, but you definitely just exposed yourself as a hater and a troll.
Cronenworth is literally not a better SS than Tatis Jr in 2023. Just a joke. Horrific analysis.
Ok, fanboy! Or Tatis Sr.?
If Bogey gets injured Kim goes to shortstop. They’re frankly wasting him at 2B.
If X gets injured, Kim moves to SS, Crone to 2B and Carpenter to 1B
Did you also forget that $300M guys gets their way if they wants to? Has nothing to do with “ranking best SS defense” – Tatis absolutely WILL play SS if he requests to – real life means more than stats.
Real life says he hasn’t requested anything like the sort though. He’s fully embraced his new role and wants to be seen as a team-player.
@Gwynning we spent a couple years in Oceanside when I was a kid; went to Washington Middle school. Always keep track of the Padres and love it down there. Great memories at the big mall and Seaus restaurant
Sure, I’m not arguing that but I am arguing that if X gets hurt, his attitude might switch up and he might believe the best option is him at SS.
It’s so bizarre how all these SD fans in here arguing with me about this are acting like teams don’t play offense-minded lineups ever? If the best way to get Tatis’s bat in there is at SS, then they are going to play him there. He makes that big “star SS” money the same as X does. Cronenworth isn’t better than Tatis at SS either, that’s bad analysis based off vastly different sample stats, they’re probably about the same when all is said and done.
Fountain Valley or downtown’s Horton Plaza? Bummer about Seau, he did so much for so many people, including Oceanside High. One of those things where I wish I could’ve helped “if I had only known.” His family is still super nice. Stay blessed braddha! A Seattle/San Diego Series sounds so niceeee
I’m not sure which one! I remember if it wasn’t in the same lot as seaus resteraunt; then it had to be within walking distance; we’d have family day on my dads rare days off, watch a movie in the mall maybe get a jersey or a hat then walk to watch whatever game was on at Seaus, hang out there for hours. He used to go in there all the time in the off-season while we were there. Awesome dude with fans
That’d be Fountain Valley then. Both the restaurant and the mall were in Mission Valley, near the old Jack Murphy Stadium. The restaurant is closed, the stadium was demolished (for the new Aztec one) and the Mall is still kicking around, albeit a semi-ghost town nowadays. Everyone buys everything online now! Haha, good memories though. I feel for today’s youth missing out on the “mall scene” we used to have. Junior was a good dude… and everybody’s “Buddy”!!
Lol, I would say 40-60% of my teenage social interaction was at a mall. That’s just where you went if you didn’t have to go home. No phones, early internet; walk, ride your bike or take the city bus to the mall and see what friends are there. Glad to hear that mall has (narrowly) survived the mallpacolypse of the past 15-20 years. Cheers man!
Fernando Ringworm Jr.
Tatis got popped for roids and can’t make the throw from SS. Even if X gets injured Tatis will play outfield and he’ll like it.
Derek Jeter couldn’t play shortstop but they let him do it for 20 years anyway.
Tatis will not play SS if he requests to. They signed Xander to be their SS. The end. Do you honestly think management would hurt the teams chances of winning to feed one guy’s ego? What makes you think they shelled out all that money to Bogey after missing on Turner (who are both better SS than Tatis) just to move him to where, RF? Preller made it perfectly clear Tatis is no longer their SS this off-season. Had their been a chance of him moving back they would have signed an OF with a good bat like Benintendi or Nimmo and saved $70-$100 million. No front office is going to sign one of the best defensive SS in the game for huge money and then move them to another position because a high priced baby cries about losing it. Honestly, I think Tatis gets traded after they win their championship. RF is where you dump your worst defender not a solid MI. 3rd would be a natural fit but Manny’s extension says Preller has other ideas. Sorry, but you should fall in love with another player if you are a Padres fan. No way they can afford Soto if they keep Tatis.
Fernando Ringworm Jr.
Tatis is going nowhere and Xander is by no means a good defensive SS. Been easily the Padres’ best hitter so far this year tho.
Tatis has zero leverage at this point in his career, so, to answer your question, I forgot nothing.
Xander was a good SS last year and has done well this year so far. With the way Xander has hit and fielded so far this year he may end up being the best padres this year.
Tatis Jr’s days as a SS for the Padres are over.
He plays hard, diving everywhere and is injury prone @ SS.
There are 300M+ reasons why Tatis will never play SS in SD again.
They are not keeping Soto.
Tatis Jr is a clutch player and hitter that carries the team on his back.
Soto sits around and waits for walks to juice his stats when the game is on the line.
Soto is the most over rated player of this era.
@Hammerin Hank – you get it.
You wrote all that and didnt address if X goes on the DL? Bad analysis.
If all of you who are SO SURE about Tatits “never playing SS for SD again” then you HAVE to delete your account and never post here again if he does.
Deal? Of course not. Coward.
If Bogaerts is injured, the HaSeong Kim goes back to SS, Jake Cronenworth slides over to 2B and Carpenter/Cruz share 1B/DH.
Tatis Jr’s days of playing SS are over.
He gets hurt too much playing SS
OF will be less stressful in his body.
Tatis has been hurt “one time” at SS….and it was from doing the splits stretching for a throw at 2b.
So delete your account if Tatis plays SS for SD this year.
14 yr contact ridiculous
At least his ringworm has cleared! Play ball!
Rehab assignment? From ring worm? I had no idea it was that serious!
Meet CappinJudge, the MLBTR expert on ringworm and Aaron Judge. His knowledge of ringworm is limitless, from personal experience.
These players dream about getting huge contracts, and feel shocked and guilty when they actually get them. The oftentimes poor performance thereafter reflects this phenomenon.
Hence performance enhancement?
These contract lengths are solely to get around/mitigate the luxury tax while meeting the player’s demands for x amount of guaranteed money. 14 years is insane (record breaking, really), but they did buy out all of his arbitration years. Assuming Tatis regains form, that could be a major savings, lost 2022 season aside.
At average yearly value of 23M-24M per year?!
With Tatis Jr’s talent?
That contract may turn out to be a “steal” for the Padres.
It may. It was still dumb at the time it was signed.
Let the contrition-filled comeback tour begin! Go get ’em, Niño!
I’m hoping El Niño has a 40/40 season, with his speed and athleticism he can do it.
Maybe. In Australia.
His broken wrist was spring training of 2022, not 2021
He got hot at the end of spring, hopefully that can continue.
0 for 16 and then hit around .500 with a 1.600 OPS or something like that.
Tatis ended up 12 for 44, so after that cold start in his first 5 games he went 12 for 28 in his next 11. A .428 BA, with 2 HR, 1 DBL, and 5 BB. Too lazy to do the OPS calcs,
Hopefully he’s done embarrassing himself and his team and is ready to be a real ballplayer
All the hate talk on this article will be tremendous!
Ringworm, cheater, not worth the contract, overrated…and I’m sure there’s a few more.
Here’s the deal; X, Manny, Soto, Tatis Jr., in 16 days the Padres have the potential for the best 1-4 lineup in baseball, with 5-9 being deadly as well!
But weak pitching am I not right?
Fangraphs ranked their rotation 7th (out of 30)
And their bullpen 2nd (out of 30)
So the answer to your question would be: no, you are not right.
@ Padrepapi. With Pomeranz and Suarez hurt (and not back soon), who other than Hader and Garcia (got knocked around yesterday) do you like in their bullpen? Steve Wilson is so-so. But then there’s Domingo Tapia, Brent Honeywell, Crismatt….. Tim Hill
It definitely makes me a little uneasy, but I’ll let you know in a month
Hired Gun 23
Sorry SD Super, he made his choices and has to live with them. Still, he has the chance to make the mistakes fade by being a good teammate and putting the team first. We shall see…
Hey, I’m just as let down as anyone else and agree with you!
I just laugh at the silly hate talk.
Hired Gun 23
I don’t give their negativity a second thought…hahaha!
Doesn’t atone for the fact that Tatis is a cheater.
But, he had multiple serious injuries and was trying to get back to play and help his team.
Stupid mistake for one of the most exciting players.
Still one of the most exciting players in baseball. Hands down. No question.
…on the Chihuahuas!
@candles NPB, KBO, MLB, NCAA, SF GIANTS, AL, NL. You name it and he’s one of the best players on that team.
Says you. We can agree on this much-he cheated and he got caught.
@candles says statistics. Hard to argue with facts. Barry Bonds cheated year after year after year. That much everyone could easily see by the physical change in body structure. Doesn’t change the fact that he had a natural gift for hitting baseballs.
Who cares? Almost every player cheats in some way at some point in their careers. It doesn’t bother me a bit. He’s a great player in either case, like Bonds and Clemens were.
I do feel like this contract is going to become one of those weird mega deals where the guy barely plays, is often on the IL and the team moves forward logistically without him, don’t factor him into their plans season to season and fans often forget he’s on the team. Guys like Carl Crawford on the Red Sox and Dodgers, guys like Yoenis Cespedes on the Mets, thus far Chris Sale on the Red Sox…. Anyway, yeah, I am guessing we can add Fernando Tatis, Jr. to that list.
Jason Heyward when he was on the Cubs is that player for me.
Are you seriously comparing Tatis to guys like Cespedes and Carl Crawford? He’s way more talented than them.
Idk how well he will play in RF, but I have a feeling Tatis is going to rake when he returns.
Since his PED suspension carried over into this year, does that mean he is ineligible for the postseason in 2023 also?
No. The suspension is served consecutively. The Padres 12 postseason games in 2022 counted towards his 80 game suspension.
Doesn’t seem right. Any player suspended for PEDs is supposed to be ineligible for the postseason roster whether he has time on the suspension or not.
He did miss the postseason last year.
But my point was that he was still under a PED suspension THIS year. If a player were to get popped for a PED suspension today, their suspension would be over long before the postseason, but they would still be ineligible for the PS roster.
Plus, there is also the idea that he was not healthy enough to play in the postseason last year anyway. I just don’t think he should get credit for that.
He was hit with and served his suspension last year, regular and Postseason; the concurrent days this year are just runoff of said suspension. The terms of all suspensions were collectively bartered on and there is no “double jeopardy” for one suspension. The only way (besides injury) he misses this Postseason is if he incurs another suspension.
Hiflew, try to calm down and not lose any sleep because his suspension is almost over. It’ll be ok.
He STILL can only be suspended for one offseason unless the penalty is more than 162 games.
Maybe start by reading the rules regarding PED penalties in the CBA.
Fernando Ringworm Jr.
Suspension is determined by the number of days you don’t get paid. Players generally get paid while on the IL. But if they are also suspended they don’t get paid. That is why IL days count towards suspensions.
He should not even have been suspended. Who’s the genius that determined taking a drug/medication to make you heal faster is against the rules? It’s like outlawing a surgery because the success rate is too high.
As long as the drug is out of your system before playing, all meds should be OK.
Exactly. It’s not like he was using it to bulk up or hit the ball over the fence, obviously he didn’t have a problem doing that prior to his injuries. The last time Robinson Cano got busted it was for a similar masking agent, and it was only because he was 37 or 38 at the time and wanted to heal faster to help the team win and earn his keep on that l0-year albatross contract.
How do you know that?
Tatis Jr was suspended for Clostebol, synthetic testosterone.
Steroids speed up the recovery process and shorten the rest time needed between workouts, meaning athletes can build more muscle than through using natural methods. So no, players should not be allowed to chug steroids and then miraculously detox in time for the season.
My bad, I thought it was along the lines of the masking agent Cano used which was basically a diuretic.
Cano is equally guilty. Lasix is one of the most common masking agents for PEDs, diuretic or not. Why play this idiotic little semantics game?
We live in a country with direct to consumer pharmaceutical advertising. Other diuretics exist.
If they detect Lasix, urine big trouble.
Hired Gun 23
So begins his chance to make a wrong a right. Let his play dictate his sincerity…
Make a wrong right, what are you talking about? Countless players have faced PED suspensions. It’s not that big of a deal.
The vision surgery Cruz had during the winter is working wonders so far…
Such an exciting player. Certainly hope he is fully recovered and can play at the level he did in 2021. MLB needs more elite players like him.
El Paso is miserable this time of year. Windy. I mean really windy. 30-50 mph gusts. That means dusty, too. It will be 70-80 degrees out so that is comfortable, but it’s not a nice place in the spring.
Never been and it sounds like I won’t be going now either. Yuck. Rather have humid and hot like it is here in FL.
only Yankee players use PED…BWHAHAHAHAHAHAH…..oh that was a good laugh,
Crazy that he’s coming back from a drug suspension on 4/20 (yeah, I know it’s PEDs, not recreational drugs, but still!)
Oh yeah, Fernando Tatis Jr. Forgot about him.
Lol Padres $340,000,000
As a Padre homer its probably my favorite contract on the team. I definitely believe he is the most talented player on it and think that will be apparent soon enough to the rest of MLB.
Here’s hoping he hits another bomb out of Dodger stadium. The LA fans always booed him like crazy and he went on to record the most homers by an opponent in a single season there so I think he’ll thrive with all the bad vibes sent his way while on the road.
They’re paying him less over the next three years then the like of Mitch Haniger or Tyler Anderson are making… dude is going to be huge for the team!!
$340 million for one of the greats of the game. Deal with it.
better do something about the thin bullpen or the lineup won’t matter
Hired Gun 23
I don’t see why he should get to play any affiliated ball while on a PED suspension
Unless specified, suspended players are allowed to participate in any baseball activities other than playing in MLB games.
He played in preseason games
Hope you guys don’t lose any sleep because he’s allowed to play in the minors and he won’t be suspended for this year’s postseason. Geez give it a rest. Reading all these comments, you’d think that he murdered someone or something.
If you think Tatis is making me lose sleep, you’re delusional
I’d say the same thing if we were discussing Manny Ramirez or anyone else who’s been popped for PEDs. How dare someone have a moral compass!?
This one belongs to the Reds
Counting the days until he is injured or suspended through stupidity and hurts his team again.
That contract will be an albatross the Pads can’t escape for over a decade.
Tell us how you REALLY feel about Tatis, Jr. People can mature and learn from their mistakes. Just look at Machado and Harper now.
This one belongs to the Reds
They can. But Tatis has not shown that he has so far and his history is lengthy.
“Tatis in rehab” has such a truthful ring to it.
Yeah, he’s a regular Daryll Strawberry. What is he not addicted to? Hahaha.
Fernando Ringworm Jr. will need to keep his pants zipped up and his sleeves down. No more groupies or PEDs.
MLB should ban any player from any interaction with their club for the duration of the suspension. Sorry, busted for PED’s, you are banned from team facilities be it minor league or majors for the 80 games. Be it postseason, preseason, regular season or conditioning. After the 80 games you can then go on a conditioning stint with an affiliated club. But during the time of suspension, you are banned from all professional ball.
Not saying this because of it being Tatis. Anyone suspended should be treated that way. Rendon for the Angels right now should be banned from all team facilities. Doctors, gyms, ect. include them all.
You get suspended for anything, you cover the bill. And can keep yourself in game shape so when your suspension is up its up to you to be in game shape or also suffer the cost of taking a minor league prorated contract for the time it takes you to get back into game shape. See how many pro guys making 20+M/yr like going back to busses and small planes again.
Although I do agree somewhat with your view, however, I give kudos to the Padres for not abandoning a member of their team, a member of the Padre family. Yes, Tatis was in the wrong. Yes, Tatis essentially paid for it by not being able to play the game he loves and hurting the team and the fans. And yes, Tatis will go through the rest of his career being branded as a cheater, like those in the Mitchell Report.
The big difference between Tatis and other big names is that he is still young and he can still have a long career ahead of him while continuously being tested for roids. To counter your point, it would probably have been more detrimental to Tatis, and other players like him, if the “adults” in San Diego watch over him rather than sending him back home away from supervision to get in more trouble. Hopefully, the longer he plays, the tarnish will rub off and he will shine more and more. But again, credit to the Padres and Preller for sitting Tatis down and guiding him through this ordeal.
The Padres. LOL!
No Tatis is NOT playing SS for the Padres.
OF is his new home.
Preller and Melvin have had “the talk” with Tatis Jr.
His skills play well in the OF and keep him off the IL.
Padres top prospect SS Jackson Merrill is more likely
to be playing SS in a year or two than Tatis Jr.
OR they move Merrill to the OF also if Bogaerts stays @ SS.