The last time Fernando Tatis Jr. played a professional baseball game was October 3, 2021. Finally, on Saturday night, one of baseball's brightest stars was back in a competitive game.
Tatis Jr., who's missed the entire season and Spring Training after suffering a broken wrist, started a rehab assignment with the Double-A San Antonio Missions. Facing the Wichita Wind Surge (as an aside, I adore minor league team names) he led off as the designated hitter and didn't really do too much for a while. The first eight pitches he saw were all balls.
Finally, in the 5th inning, he got something to hit and you could tell there's rust to shake off. Fernando struck out swinging was was well behind a fastball. Over the next several games he'll be working on finding his timing.
In the 7th inning he got closer, making contact but popping out on the infield. For the evening he was 0-for2, but the good news is he was not holding back on the swing. Tatis Jr. took some maximum effort rips, finishing each one with a 2-handed finish to protect the shoulder that gave him issues a year ago.
Tatis is expected to play a few more games in the minors, seeing time at shortstop and centerfield. The hope is he finds his groove quickly and has no physical setbacks, which could see him back in the Padres lineup in a couple of weeks.
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