Fernando Tatís Jr. To begin rehab assignment

19:16: Manager Bob Melvin said Tatis will start the job tomorrow or Sunday (via Dennis Lin of Atletico). He is expected to play both shortstop and center field in the minors.

18:35: star parents Fernando Tatis Jr. is nearing a comeback, as Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports (twitter link) who is on his way to Double-A San Antonio. He will soon begin a rehabilitation assignment there, the last step before returning to Petco Park.

It’s been a long time for Tatis, who broke a bone in his left wrist during the offseason. He underwent surgery in mid-March, with the club expressing hope that he would return in mid-June. That obviously proved not to be the case. While there were no reports of any significant setbacks, Tatis did not recover at the rate he or the team had hoped. He has been gradually building through various baseball activities in recent weeks, and is now positioned to participate in games for the first time this year.

Position players are allowed up to 20 days on rehab assignments. Once Tatis formally begins his assignment in the next few days, he may spend just under three weeks in the minors before the team has to take him to the majors or shut him down again. They wouldn’t send him if they anticipated the latest result, so the club obviously thinks he’ll be ready by the middle or end of this month.

Tatis’ upcoming return will add another star to a lineup that is already loaded with power. Manny Machado is in the MVP conversation, and the Friars brought John Soto Y josh bell in one of the most monumental trades in MLB history. Add Tatis, owner of a .292/.369/.596 line during his first three seasons, to the mix, and the Padres will field a surprising top of the lineup down the stretch.

With Tatis out of action, most of the shortstop work has gone to Ha Seong Kim. The former KBO star overcame a tough rookie season in MLB to hit at a league-average level (.248/.329/.370) while playing Gold Glove-caliber defense in 98 games. with bell, jake croenworthMachado and other acquisition deadline Brandon Druri around the infield, San Diego will have an embarrassment of riches in the land. Tatis has expressed a willingness to move from shortstop to the outfield if necessary, and center field seems like the most likely spot in that case. Soto has right field accounted for, and Jurickson Profar he’s having the best year of his career on the left. trent grishamwho has stumbled over a .197/.293/.365 line in just under 400 plate appearances, looks like he’ll be the odd man out most days once everyone’s healthy.

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