Fernando Tatis Jr. 2022 has been a completely dismal year. He missed the first half of the year after undergoing surgery in March to repair a broken left wrist he sustained in an off-season motorcycle accident, and is gearing up to return. Just then, he received an 80-game performance-enhancing drug suspension.
Despite two setbacks—shoulder surgery in September and follow-up wrist surgery in October—the 24-year-old seems to be in a good place physically and mentally for the opener. It’s getting closer.
“I’m really excited,” Tatis told Kevin Acey and Annie Heilbran of the San Diego Union-Tribune. “I think it’s going to be a much more emotional year and I’m definitely looking forward to it. … I feel like if I was on the field it would have been a different story. It was the first time that I felt that I was separated from them.It really hurt my heart.I have always been successful in this field but this is the first time I really failed.And I really felt it.… I know what people are talking about there and what people are talking about in the field.It’s up to me — how I approach it , how I take it, and whether I reply or not is up to me.”
Tatis is looking forward to a full-on spring training and expects to be activated as soon as he is eligible to return from his PED suspension on April 20th. A training program run by former Marines in the San Diego area.Tatis is in these workouts Joe Musgrovehe was one of the more vocal critics in the Padres’ own clubhouse when news of the suspension was first announced.
“He has to face things he has never faced before or doesn’t want to face.” Musgrove spoke of Tatis. “But he handles it really well. He’s been around Petco[Park]every day and the work ethic he puts in is ready. Being is a lot to take on, which is why he hasn’t done a lot in the past, and now it seems like you’re starting to see him open up a little more. I feel
Tatis has an impressive .965 OPS with 81 home runs and 52 stolen bases in his first 273 major league games from 2019-2021. He averaged 116 RBIs and 125 runs scored while averaging 48 homers and 31 stolen bases in 162 games. He signed his 14-year, $340 million blockbuster deal out of San Diego almost exactly 23 months before he did. Now he’s poised to make that big-ticket commitment again, possibly helping the Padres win his NL West title for the first time since 2006.