Back in early April, the San Diego Padres feared the worst when star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. suffered a left shoulder injury while swinging at a pitch. However, the 22-year-old might be back much sooner than anticipated.
According to Padres manager Jayce Tingler, the organization is “optimistic” that Tatis Jr. will be available to play on Friday when the Padres take on the Los Angeles Dodgers. The injured shortstop took live batting practice on Thursday and has been feeling significantly better after suffering a subluxation of his left shoulder, per ESPN’s Alden Gonzalez.
“We’re optimistic that he has a good chance to be ready to play tomorrow,” Tingler told reporters on Thursday.
The Padres manager added that it was Tatis’s “best day” in terms of swinging a bat, which lifted his chances of playing this weekend against the Dodgers.
Padres manager Jayce Tingler on Fernando Tatis Jr.: "We're optimistic that he has a good chance to be ready to play tomorrow."
Tatis took live BP today in Pittsburgh and Tingler said it was his "best day as far as at-bats." Looks like he'll play against the Dodgers on Friday.
— Alden Gonzalez (@Alden_Gonzalez) April 15, 2021
Tatis will be welcomed back into the Padres starting line-up with open arms, especially as San Diego prepares to take on its primary rival in the NL West. The 22-year-old has emerged as one of the brightest young players in baseball after amassing a .301 average, 39 home runs and 27 stolen bases in his first 143 games in the majors. He signed a massive 14-year, $340 million extension with the Padres in the offseason, showing the organization’s commitment to him long term.
But, Tatis has had his struggles to start the 2021 season. In his 18 at-bats prior to suffering the subluxation, the 22-year-old had just three hits, including a solo home run. After having not played in a game since April 5, it might take Tatis a few swings to get re-acclimated.
However, San Diego will be thrilled to get their star shortstop back on the field. The series between the Padres and the Dodgers will begin at 10:10 p.m. ET on Friday night.