LOS ANGELES — Fernando Tatis Jr. took part in his third live batting practice from Dodger Stadium early Friday afternoon and was scheduled to fly to San Antonio to join the Double-A affiliate San Diego Padres later in the day. at night, starting a Rehabilitation Mission this weekend.
Tatis, 23, has spent the whole season recovering from surgery on his left wrist, but has essentially reached the end of his recovery and is now focused on getting his timing back and his legs under him. Tatis underwent what was to be a final scan of the scaphoid bone that suffered a fracture early in the offseason, and Padres manager Bob Melvin said “everything looks good.”
Tatis, who has shown encouraging signs in previous punching sessions, could be a week or two away from returning.
“I don’t think we have a fixed number of batting attacks,” Melvin said when asked about the length of Tatis’ rehab assignment. “And also, you’d like to bring a guy back here when he swings the bat pretty well too. We’re later in the season; it’s not going to take three weeks to bring him back here, so we’ll just take it day by day. and see where he is physically and how he feels at home plate.”
Tatis will eventually return to a revamped Padres team that made headlines earlier this week, acquiring Juan Soto, Josh Bell, Brandon Drury and Josh Hader before the trade deadline. Tatis will reside near the top of the roster alongside Soto and Manny Machado, forming arguably the most devout hitting trio at the majors – but he will also move.
Tatis will see time in center field and designated hitter during his rehab assignment, in addition to his natural shortstop position, and will do the same when he returns to the major league team. Melvin wants the flexibility to continue giving Ha-seong Kim shortstop starts, but also doesn’t want to put too much of a burden on Tatis, given the physical demands of shortstops.
“It’s the one he’s been out for long enough that we really don’t want to pick up speed and make sure we’re going about it the right way and he’s healthy, make sure we don’t let’s not overdo it,” Melvin said.