Latest Fernando Tatis Jr. injury update is the good news Padres desperately needed

The San Diego Padres have been without slugger Fernando Tatis Jr. all season with a wrist fracture, and his timeline has continuously been unclear. According to a Tweet from 10 News Sports Director Ben Higgins, Tatis will begin his hitting progression Friday.

The Padres’ offense has been inconsistent and lacking power this season, so Tatis’ return to the lineup has been long-awaited. Based on his performance from prior seasons, he could help move the lineup in the right direction.

Padres slugger Fernando Tatis Jr. may help move the lineup in the right direction

Tatis has only played three seasons in his career and hasn’t had a slugging percentage lower than .500 or an OPS lower than .900. He had his worst season in 2020, but was still hitting .277/.366/.571 for an OPS of .937. He also had an isolated power of .295, so he was still helping the team.

Manny Machado has stepped up this season to provide what the team lacks in Tatis’ absence. He’s currently having one of his best seasons and hitting .307/.381/.525 for an OPS of .906. Despite being a slugger, he hits with significantly less power than Tatis. Machado has an isolated power of .218 this season.

Beyond Machado, the power in the lineup drops off quite a bit. The second-best slugging percentage falls to .398, isolated power to .179 and OPS to .740.

Machado also recently faced injury and the Padres had to scramble the lineup to maximize their potential without him. Though manager Bob Melvin has stated the lineup needs power, nobody was prepared for Machado’s sudden absence.

Having Tatis back in the lineup will help provide more security and power that lacks in San Diego.