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Fernando Tatis Jr. return: Why was the Padres star suspended by MLB?

With Fernando Tatis Jr. set to return to the Padres, we go over why he was initially suspended for 80 games by MLB last season.

Fernando Tatis Jr. of the San Diego Padres signs autographs for fans before a spring training game against the Los Angeles Angels on March 24, 2023 at the Tempe Diablo Stadium in Tempe, Arizona. Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images

The San Diego Padres are eagerly looking forward to the return of Fernando Tatis Jr. to their lineup. They have missed their shortstop, who is expected to convert to an outfield position this season. Tatis Jr. dealt with injuries that sidelined him to begin the 2022 campaign, and then, after multiple setbacks, insult was added to injury as he was then suspended 80 games which effectively ended his season.

Why was Fernando Tatis Jr. suspended in 2022?

Tatis tested positive for Clostebol, which is a synthetic form of testosterone. It is on MLB’s banned substance list and is considered a performance-enhancing drug. He claims that he took a medication attempting to treat ringworm that unknowingly had the substance in it. Tatis Jr.’s suspension spanned the remaining 48 games of the regular season, San Diego’s 12 playoff games and the first 20 games of the 2023 season. Tatis Jr. had dealt with wrist and shoulder injuries and subsequent recoveries and setbacks. He finally had started making progress in a Minor League rehab stint, but the suspension solidified that he would miss the entirety of his age-23 season.

Per the terms of his suspension, he was allowed to participate in Spring Training games as well as complete a brief Minor League stint in preparation. Tatis is set to return on Thursday, April 20. San Diego will be starting a four-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks, and we will finally see how the Padres plan to deploy Tatis Jr. as he makes his debut.