The San Diego Padres managed to complete an impressive 2022 campaign without their most talented player.
Yes: on a team that has Manny Machado and Juan Soto, Fernando Tatis Jr. is arguably the most talented of the trio.
When healthy, he shows more power and speed than both of his teammates.
The problem is that he is also the most injury-prone of the three and the one who fractured his wrist on a motorcycle accident in the 2021-22 lockout, and the one who was suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs.
Tatis still has a few games of his suspension to sit out, as he is projected to return to the active roster around April 20.
He is, however, allowed to train with his teammates and play spring training games.
Here he is in his first Cactus League appearance of the year.
Here’s the scene for Tatis’ first plate appearance in a Cactus League game. #Padres pic.twitter.com/cTTfRtfDfa
— Annie Heilbrunn (@annieheilbrunn) February 28, 2023
He is seen taking a strike, which has to feel good considering it is the first pitch he sees in a while.
Most importantly, Tatis looks healthy after offseason shoulder and wrist surgeries.
The shoulder dislocation/subluxation he suffered in 2021 was a troublesome injury that has the potential to affect his offensive output, so all eyes will be on Tatis upon returning.
After spring training, he will be away from the team until the end of April when it’s time to get back to work.
Everybody in the organization believes that it’s time to put it all behind and let the man work his way back.
He is extremely talented and if he can return to 100 percent health, the Padres will be in very good shape.NEXT: Manny Machado Opens Up About His Contract Extension