Padres: Rival slugger ‘can’t wait’ for Fernando Tatis Jr. to return

San Diego Padres slugger Fernando Tatis Jr. is still out this season with a wrist fracture. He’s yet to play a game in 2022, and it’s still unclear when he will return. His teammates and rivals alike seem to be anticipating his return.

New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge expressed his thoughts on Tatis in an interview posted by SorareMLB on Twitter.

Judge stated Tatis is “doing some special things in San Diego” and he “can’t wait for him to come back. He’s a big ambassador of the game.”

Judge and Tatis produce very similar numbers at-bat, so they’re great competition for each other. Evidently, the competition is healthy and supportive.

Unfortunately, there’s no anticipated date set for Tatis return yet.

Padres slugger Fernando Tatis Jr.’s return timeline is still unclear

According to manager Bob Melvin, there are no updates on Tatis yet.

Tatis is one of the main sources of power in the lineup. Last season, he produced isolated power of .328. Entering this season without him, the lineup was seemingly unpredictable and the lack of power is evident.

So far, the lineup has been unsustainable and inconsistent. The Padres relied heavily on Manny Machado, who stepped up to provide what San Diego was lacking. Machado also faced an in-game injury for a short time. Luckily, he came back quickly, but his absence was noticeable.

Machado is hitting .304/.380/.525 for an OPS of .905 this season and is currently the home run leader on the team. His isolated power is .221. He doesn’t hit with quite as much power as Tatis, so Tatis’ absence still certainly leaves a gap in team performance.