The San Diego Padres haven’t been the offensive powerhouse we all expected in 2023.
It’s still early, yes; but a lineup with Juan Soto, Manny Machado, Jake Cronenworth, Trent Grisham, and Xander Bogaerts is expected to rank better than 12th in runs scored among National League teams.
Fortunately for them, they are about to get some much-needed help from a familiar face.
Fernando Tatis Jr. has served his entire 80-game suspension and is ready to return to the Padres lineup on Thursday.
He has been out for a long, long time.
“564 Days since we’ve last seen Fernando Tatis Jr. suit up and play meaningful baseball for the San Diego Padres. Today is finally the day. The King Returns,” Devine Sports Gospel tweeted.
564 Days since we’ve last seen Fernando Tatis Jr. suit up and play meaningful baseball for the San Diego Padres.
Today is finally the day.
The King Returns. pic.twitter.com/F3OQOz2cwt
— Devine Sports Gospel (@DevineGospel) April 20, 2023
Let’s remember that Tatis’ 2021 season was limited to 130 games because of a recurring shoulder injury.
He still managed to hit 42 home runs and steal 25 bases that year, though, even after playing with an iffy shoulder.
Then the lockout happened.
Since communications between players and team members were prohibited, he didn’t report a wrist fracture stemming from a motorcycle accident in due time.
He missed months with the wrist surgery rehab, and just when he was ready to return last summer, he was slapped with the 80-game suspension for steroids use.
He took advantage of the time off to perform maintenance surgeries on both his shoulder and wrist, and has been preparing for his return for a long time.
He had to hear boos in minor league games and people criticizing him on social media and the streets.
However, he is ready to help the Padres turn things around and make the postseason.
Let’s not forget that he remains one of the most exciting players in baseball.NEXT: Fernando Tatis Jr. Welcomes Himself Back With A Tweet