The vibes around the San Diego Padres are all positive right now. They just defeated their longtime nemesis, the Los Angeles Dodgers, in the NLDS. They are one step away from the World Series. Petco Park will be rocking when Game 1 of the NLCS versus the Philadelphia Phillies begins tonight. Life is perfect for the Padres and their fans.
And then there is Fernando Tatis Jr. The one-time face of the franchise came to spring training this year and revealed that he needs surgery for a left wrist injury that he suffered during the offseason and then withheld from the team. Then, just as he was about to make his 2022 debut in August, word came that Tatis had been popped for a positive PED test and would be suspended for 80 games.
That effectively ended Tatis’ 2022 season before it ever began. He’s been taking this time away to get his body fixed. First, he underwent surgery in early September to repair his left shoulder labrum. That’s the same shoulder Tatis partially dislocated at least four times during the 2021 campaign.
And now, Tatis has undergone a second surgery on his left wrist. The procedure, first reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune, occurred last week.
Padres' Fernando Tatis Jr. has second wrist surgery https://t.co/wJHVcoccPk— Kevin Acee (@sdutKevinAcee) October 17, 2022
Padres general manager A.J. Preller said that Tatis is still expected to be ready for the start of spring training next year. Of course, he won’t be able to play at the start of the regular season as his suspension will be ongoing. However, his teammates are helping him out there; each game they play in the playoffs means one fewer game Tatis has to sit out in ‘23.
Tatis was suspended for the final 48 regular-season games this year. Add that total to San Diego’s seven playoff games, and he has now served 55 of his 80-game ban. At least four more games will be subtracted once the team concludes its NLCS against the Philadelphia Phillies, which begins tonight at Petco Park. If the worst-case scenario occurs and the Padres get swept, Tatis will have to miss the first 21 games of next season, meaning he could return as soon as Friday, April 21 at Arizona.
But let’s say the Friars push their magical run all the way to Game 7 of the NLCS and the World Series. If so, Tatis would be eligible to return on Tuesday, April 11, at the Mets.