Will San Diego Padres lose Fernando Tatis Jr.?

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SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 9: Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 of the San Diego Padres leans over the dugout wall during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies at Petco Park August 9, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
SAN DIEGO, CA - AUGUST 9: Fernando Tatis Jr. #23 of the San Diego Padres leans over the dugout wall during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies at Petco Park August 9, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images) /
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San Diego Padres superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. left Tuesday’s game hurt, so will this latest injury keep Tatis Jr. sidelined? Here’s what we know so far.

UPDATE: Fernando Tatis Jr. did not travel with the San Diego Padres to Philadelphia, according to MLB.com, and has since been placed on the Injured List. He is expected to miss the remainder of the 2019 season. Our original report follows below.

ORIGINAL STORY: Fernando Tatis Jr. has been the brightest spot in the San Diego Padres‘ frustrating 2019 season, so fans held their breath when he was unable to finish Tuesday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Tatis left in the seventh after suffering a lower back spasm during a plate appearance. And when asked about his condition following the game, Padres manager Andy Green understandably didn’t know much about what it means for Tatis long-term.

Describing the infielder’s injury as “just some soreness,” Green also conceded to MLB.com that “Hopefully it’s nothing more than that.”

He will rest Tatis for Wednesday’s series finale against the Rays. Fellow rookie Luis Urias will get the start at shortstop as the Friars attempt to avoid being swept by Tampa Bay, but fans are more worried about the health of the team’s most exciting player.

After all, Fernando Tatis Jr. was already sidelined a few months ago with a hamstring issue, albeit one he bounced back from fairly quickly. He made just one rehab start in Double-A before he made his way back to the MLB roster.

It’s possible that Green is right, and Fernando could be back in the lineup by the time the Padres head to face the Philadelphia Phillies. However, the “hopefully” indicates that he’s not sure, and as he pointed out in that postgame talk, it’s important to exercise some caution with someone who’s poised to be a part of the franchise for years to come.

Fans will have to wait and see if their starting shortstop is in the lineup against Philadelphia or, with just about a month and a half left in the 2019 Padres season, if the team plays things more carefully and perhaps decides to give Tatis some further days off. After all, they’re largely out of postseason contention now, so there’s less pressure to perform.

But Fernando Tatis Jr. completely transforms the San Diego lineup when he’s in it, so let’s hope that this isn’t a serious injury or the start of a history of injuries. Players get banged up a lot over the course of a 162-game season through natural wear and tear—the important thing is to do everything possible to keep those instances few and far between.

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For complete coverage of the San Diego Padres’ 2019 season, continue following Friars on Base all season long.

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