April 10 update — Still 10 days until Tatis Jr. can return to the Padres, but it sounds like he’ll be hitting leadoff when he does.
Still 20 games before it comes to fruition. But it sounds like Bob Melvin is a big fan of Tatis in the leadoff spot.— AJ Cassavell (@AJCassavell) March 27, 2023
"Man, it just feels like there's a special kind of impact that he has leading off," Melvin said.
So, the likely top 4:
This will only help Tatis Jr. rack up the counting stats. He could make a real run at the title of No. 1 overall player in fantasy this year despite the missed time.
April 4 update — The San Diego Padres are atop the NL West ahead of the games scheduled for Tuesday, April 4. The Friars aren’t yet at full staff, though, as they are missing a major piece to their lineup. Right fielder Fernando Tatis Jr. is still serving the suspension that ended his 2022 campaign.
Tatis had a rough 2022. He had surgery in March 2022 due to a fractured scaphoid bone in his wrist. The initial diagnosis was that he would only miss three months, but there were setbacks, and as of mid-August, he hadn’t returned. The cause of the injury was suspected to be a motorcycle accident, and a concerning comment from the former shortstop suggested he may have been in multiple motorcycle accidents in the offseason. Then, Tatis failed a drug test and violated the MLB’s PED policy, so was suspended for 80 games. Between the end of the 2022 season and the playoffs, Tatis would be eligible to return on April 20.
Tatis is in the third year of his 14-year contract that he signed with San Diego in 2021. He mainly played shortstop for the Padres, but with how unreliable he was in 2022, the team signed veteran Xander Bogaerts ahead of the 2023 season. With Bogaerts at short and Manny Machado at third base, Tatis is expected to be relegated to right field duties. Until he is eligible to return, San Diego has used Rougned Odor, Jose Azocar and David Dahl in a rotation.
Tatis last regularly played in 2021. He suited up for 130 games and hit .282 on the year with 31 doubles, 42 home runs and 97 RBI. Tatis swiped 25 bags and could be an above-average base stealer with the larger bases once he returns.