September 26, 2022

AP Photo/Gregory Bull

San Diego Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. will begin a rehab assignment this weekend in San Antonio with the club’s Double-A affiliate as he nears a return from a wrist injury that has sidelined him for the entire 2022 season .

There is no firm timetable for his return yet.

“I don’t think we have a set number of at-bats,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said he said of the club’s goals for Tati’s assignment. “And also, you’d like to get a guy back here when he’s swinging the bat pretty well as well. We’re later in the season, this isn’t going to be a three-week process to get him back here, so we’re just going to take it day by day and see where he is physically and how he feels at the plate.”

Tatis was one of the best players in MLB in 2021. He finished with 42 home runs, 25 steals and a .611 slugging percentage. The dynamic shortstop showed exactly why the Padres were willing to give him one 14 years, $340 million extension

This made it all the more frustrating when Tatis underwent surgery on his wrist in the offseason.

Padres general manager AJ Preller made it clear when he gave an update in mid-June the 23-year-old was no closer to a return.

Dennis Lynn @dennistlin

AJ Preller said yesterday’s portrayal of Fernando Tatis Jr. he didn’t show enough healing in his wrist to start swinging a bat. Preller said the test overall was “positive.” The Padres plan to take it week-by-week with Tatis’ schedule. No decision yet on his next wrist scan.

Despite missing their best player, the Padres are 61-47 and poised to claim a wild-card spot in the National League.

Manny Machado has played at an MVP-type level, while Jake Cronenworth, Jurickson Profar and the rest of the offense have done enough to make up for Tatis’ absence, with Juan Soto joining the club from the Washington Nationals before the deadline. deadline.

Still, there’s a sense that San Diego is treading water a bit until Tatis finally returns to the lineup, and that the team’s World Series hopes rest on his contributions.

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