The Padres will place infielders Fernando Tatis Jr. and Ian Kinsler on the injured list, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It was already known that a back issue — now reported to be a strain — would likely send Tatis to the IL for the second time this season. A herniated disk in Kinsler’s neck will send him there alongside Tatis. Infielder Ty France and outfielder Travis Jankowski are coming up from Triple-A to fill the two roster spots.
Tatis is still undergoing tests, though Acee writes that the Padres hope he’s able to return in a couple of weeks. A timeline for Kinsler is less clear. With the Padres eight games below .500 and out of the playoff racing barring a stunning resurgence, the loss of Tatis doesn’t impact the postseason picture. However, a second stint on the IL throws a wrench into the 20-year-old Tatis’ Rookie of the Year candidacy. The young phenom is hitting .317/.379/.590 with 22 homers and 16 stolen bases in just 84 games this season. Kinsler, meanwhile, has seen his role dramatically reduced amid a career-worst season at the plate and was hitting just .217/.278/.368 through 281 plate appearances in the first season of a two-year, $8MM contract.
This’ll mark the season debut for Jankowski, 28, who began the season on the 60-day injured list due to a broken wrist. He’s batted .299/.387/.343 in 155 plate appearances with Triple-A El Paso since his wrist healed up to the point where he could return to the field. Jankowski, who’ll be arbitration-eligible this winter, is a lifetime .242/.319/.321 hitter in 953 plate appearances. Depending on how he performs, Jankowski could represent either a trade candidate or a non-tender candidate this winter.
France will return to the big leagues after posting a lackluster .235/.290/.357 batting line in 107 plate appearances earlier this season. However, France has posted an absurd .399/.477/.770 batting line with 27 home runs and 27 doubles apiece in just 76 games (348 plate appearances). The 25-year-old will have a tough path to regular MLB playing time with Manny Machado, Tatis and Eric Hosmer locked into three of the four infield positions and Luis Urias the likely second baseman of the future. France, though, could serve as a utility player who can play multiple positions for the Friars in the future, and his terrific numbers in Triple-A should put him in position for a long-term opportunity to do so. He’s controllable through at least the 2025 season.