The San Diego Padres will play the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on Thursday.
The play ball voice will be heard at 9:40 p.m. ET.
Michael Wacha will take the ball for the Friars, while Ryne Nelson will do the same for the home team.
The game will have a special addition: superstar slugger Fernando Tatis Jr. is eligible to return after completing his 80-game suspension for steroid use.
He had an incredibly productive stint with El Paso, the Padres’ Triple-A affiliate, as a tune-up for what’s to come.
“Happy Fernando Tatis Jr. Returns Day! He absolutely lit up everyone in his recent minor league stint – 8 Games – 7 HR – 15 RBI – 2 SB – 7.7% K Rate – .515 Average – 1.802 OPS. This is about to be fun,” fantasy analyst Blake Meyer tweeted.
Happy Fernando Tatis Jr Returns Day!
He absolutely lit up everyone in his recent minor league stint 👀
– 8 Games
– 7 HR
– 15 RBI
– 2 SB
– 7.7% K Rate 🚨
– .515 Average
– 1.802 OPS
This is about to be fun#FantasyBaseball | #BringTheGold
— Blake Meyer (@Buhhlockaye) April 20, 2023
He has been with the team for a couple of days now.
The Padres even featured him in one of their recent tweets, showing players boarding the plane to Arizona.
Happy flight ✌️ pic.twitter.com/V1z7vbOkJq
— San Diego Padres (@Padres) April 20, 2023
For the 9-11 Padres, it will be huge to have Tatis back.
They have Manny Machado, Juan Soto, Xander Bogaerts, Nelson Cruz, Trent Grisham, Jake Cronenworth, Ha-Seong Kim and other talented hitters, but Tatis remains the Padre with the highest ceiling.
This is a man who hit 42 home runs and stole 25 bases in just 130 games in 2021.
The Padres gave him a contract well over $300 million because they saw him as their leader and most important player.
He will have to prove he is 100 percent over the wrist and shoulder issues that required surgery in the offseason, but if his rehab stint in El Paso is any indication, he will be fine.
The wait is over: “El Niño” is back.NEXT: MLB Insider Highlights Juan Soto's Current Slump