So I have good news and bad news for you. First, the good. There’s a report floating around out there that Padres superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. will make his return to the diamond this week – more specifically, on Friday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The bad news? It comes from Bob Nightengale who, over the years, has swung and missed more than once with his reporting. So do with it what you will.
Since scaring us all half to death back on April 5 when he collapsed after a violent swing in a game against the Giants, Tatis has been slowly ramping up his baseball activities, focusing specifically on eliminating his one-hand follow-through in recent days, instead opting for a two-handed one that should dramatically reduce the chances of him re-injuring his shoulder.
Padres: Fernando Tatis Jr. could be ready for the Dodgers series
Given our first thoughts upon seeing the injury was that is was of the season-ending variety, seeing Bebo back on the field in a matter of weeks is certainly a best-case scenario. His return will come just in time for the first matchup of the year against the Padres’ biggest rival in the Dodgers, who enter play Tuesday a half-game up on San Diego in the NL West.
Tatis Jr. hadn’t gotten off to a stellar start prior to the injury, but there’s still no questioning the fact the Friars are an exponentially better team when he’s on the field. This year, he’s appeared in just five games and hit .167/.286/.333 before hitting the shelf. Now, he’s reportedly close to getting back to work – leading the Padres to the top of the NL West and, hopefully, a World Series.
In the end, I think the injury has allowed some guys to get opportunities they otherwise might not have. And over the course of a 162 game season, the more options you have at your disposal, the better.
I’d obviously never wish an injury on anyone (especially this kid), but it looks like, in the end, it won’t end up being as serious as we’d feared and the Padres might actually be a better team coming out of it than they were prior.