San Diego Padres

San Diego Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. placed on injured list indefinitely

Friars outfielder Fernando Tatis Jr. has what the team is calling a stress reaction in his quadriceps

The Padres already thin outfield situation got even more dire on Monday. Fernando Tatis Jr., the reigning Platinum Glove winner and team home run leader, was placed in the Injured List with what the team is calling a right femoral stress reaction.

The team did not provide a timetable for Tatis' return, but the star outfielder told reporters after Monday's 7-6 win that the expectation is for him to be out beyond the All-Star break.

It's an injury that occurs when the tissue of the femur, the largest bone in the human body, struggles to keep up with the amount of muscle strain placed on it by the quadriceps. It most commonly occurs in explosive athletes like Tatis Jr.

Padres manager Mike Shildt said Tatis began feeling discomfort early in the season. The team does not know the root cause of the injury.

"He's probably been dealing with it for a while now," Shildt told reporters before Monday's game. "It hadn't really impacted ultimately his play tremendously. But as we saw it started to be more consistent with how he was recovering and how he was feeling."

This is the second time in his career Tatis Jr. has dealt with a stress reaction. His rookie season in 2019 was cut short due to the same kind of injury in his back.

The Padres called up outfielder Bryce Johnson from Triple-A El Paso and, interestingly, sent fellow OF Jose Azocar back to El Paso. Johnson is a 28-year-old with 61 career big league at-bats under his belt. He joins Jurickson Profar and Jackson Merrill as the only everyday outfielders on the roster, although utility man Tyler Wade has seen time there in recent weeks.

Shildt also provided an update on starting pitcher Yu Darvish, who has been working his way back from a hamstring injury. Darvish will not make his scheduled return on Tuesday because of elbow inflammation. Shildt says they do not believe it is serious. Rookie Adam Mazur will start in his place.

Monday's news comes with pitcher Joe Musgrove and second baseman Xander Bogaerts already on the Injured List. Meanwhile Jurickson Profar has been playing through knee tendinitis, while Manny Machado has battled a hip flexor strain while recovering from offseason elbow surgery.

"The show goes on. We gotta figure out how to continue to move this mission forward," Shildt said. "Gotta continue to find ways to shake hands at the end of games, keep this thing moving."

It will very likely force Padres general manager AJ Preller to look long and hard at acquiring another outfielder and a starting pitcher as we enter the traditional trade season. This year's MLB Trade Deadline is July 30 at 3:00 p.m. PT.

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