San Diego Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. is set to undergo shoulder surgery, he revealed Tuesday while meeting with the media for the first time since being suspended for violating MLB's performance-enhancing substance policy.
Tatis was placed on the injured list three separate times during the 2021 campaign because of a left shoulder injury. However, he opted not to undergo surgery to fix the ailment during the offseason.
The 23-year-old didn't play at all during the 2022 season after breaking a bone in his left wrist and having surgery in March. He was slated to return at some point this year, but his 80-game suspension wiped out the possibility.
The Padres have managed to remain competitive in his absence and are firmly in the wild-card race, and they made the biggest trade splash in recent memory by adding Juan Soto and Josh Bell at the trade deadline in a blockbuster deal with the Washington Nationals.
Add in Manny Machado and a loaded pitching staff, and the Padres are one of the few teams with the star power and talent in the lineup to win while Tatis is out.
But there is no question that the team would prefer to have a healthy Tatis available. He took baseball by storm in 2021, hitting .282 with 43 homers, 97 RBI, 25 stolen bases, 99 runs and a .975 OPS.
That earned him his first All-Star Game nod, and he finished third in the National League MVP voting behind Bryce Harper and his new teammate, Soto. Had he not missed 32 games because of injuries, he might have claimed that award.
Ha-Seong Kim will remain the team's starting shortstop while Tatis is out of action. The Padres will hope to make a deep postseason run with their superstar sidelined.