Fernando Tatis Jr. Returns To Padres After Monster Output In Minors

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San Diego Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. has served his 80-game suspension and is headed back to Major League Baseball.

Tatis was suspended last August after testing positive for an anabolic steroid. That news came after he had missed most of the 2022 season with a wrist injury.

The 24-year-old’s more than one-year hiatus from Major League Baseball ends tonight against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

I’m sure their fans will make him feel very welcome.

If there’s any question as to whether that time off has tarnished the 2-time Silver Slugger-winner, what he did in the minors should dispel that.

Tatis wrapped up a stint with the El Paso Chihuahuas in which he put up staggering numbers.

Playing in a regular season Major League game for the first time in over a year isn’t Tatis’ only challenge on Thursday. He’ll also have to come to grips with a new position.

Instead of playing shortstop, Tatis will be playing right field on Thursday night.

Fernando Tatis Jr. will return to the Padres lineup after an 80-game suspension. (Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images)

The Padres Have Tatis’ Back

Given all the attention surrounding his return, Tatis is fortunate to have his teammates behind him.

“I see an excited kid that’s trying to move past a mistake he made,” pitcher Joe Musgrove said, per ESPN. “He’s talked about it a lot — about how he feels like he lost himself, made some poor decisions and was hanging with people he shouldn’t be hanging around.

One thing that ingratiated Tatis with his teammates was how he addressed the entire team following his suspension.

“He was very open and honest about what happened, how he felt about it. You can see this offseason — there’s a level of excitement, a level of energy and passion. You can tell he’s really trying to make that step of getting himself past it and show the world the athlete that he is and the player he’s capable of being.”

Padres Manager Bob Melvin echoed this sentiment.

“The way he went to everybody and opened up and was remorseful. And you could tell he was being authentic. He wasn’t just having these conversations just to have them, to check the box. It wasn’t anything like that. And you could feel that.”

Follow on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle

Written by Matt Reigle

Matt is a University of Central Florida graduate and a long-suffering Philadelphia Flyers fan living in Orlando, Florida. He can usually be heard playing guitar, shoe-horning obscure quotes from The Simpsons into conversations, or giving dissertations to captive audiences on why Iron Maiden is the greatest band of all time.

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