Fernando Tatis Jr. has been out of commission since the beginning of the 2022 season.
At the end of the lockout, news broke that the San Diego Padres star shortstop had suffered a wrist injury after multiple motorcycle accidents.
Tatis required surgery and was forced to miss the first four months of the season.
In August, the 24-year-old slugger began his rehab, but ultimately tested positive for PEDs, resulting in an 80-game suspension.
Tatis will not be eligible to return until after the first 20 games of the 2023 regular season.
But as the season nears, the star shortstop is preparing to make his return and has been cleared to resume baseball activities.
— B/R Walk-Off (@BRWalkoff) January 6, 2023
With the Padres signing Xander Bogaerts to an 11-year, $280 million contract, it appears likely that Tatis will move to the outfield in 2023.
Tatis is capable of playing all three outfield positions.
His bat will keep him in the lineup one way or the other.
Still, this is encouraging news for Padres fans who have been anxiously awaiting the return of the two-time Silver Slugger and former All-Star.
The Padres won 89 games and reached the NLCS with Tatis on the shelf for the full season, including the postseason.
But when he returns, the Padres lineup is going to be stacked.
The lineup already features Bogaerts, Juan Soto, Jake Cronenworth, and Ha-Seong Kim.
The Padres are a serious contender for a World Series title thanks to the depth of their lineup and look ready to take the next step and potentially dethrone the Los Angeles Dodgers as NL West champions.