Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. suffered a catastrophic-looking left shoulder injury on April 5, though it doesn’t appear he’s going to miss much time. Tatis had his day “as far as his at-bats” go on Thursday, according to manager Jayce Tingler, and Dennis Lin of The Athletic tweets that the Padres are “expected” to activate him from the 10-day injured list Friday.
Tatis will be back in time to face the Dodgers, the reigning World Series champions and the NL West leaders who are the biggest obstacle standing in the Padres’ way. San Diego entered 2021 with championship hopes of its own after going 37-23 a year ago, thanks in no small part to Tatis. The 22-year-old wunderkind slashed .277/.366/.571 with 17 home runs and 11 stolen bases last season en route to a fourth-place finish in NL MVP voting.
Tatis could find himself in the thick of the MVP race for a long time, which led the Padres to sign him to a historic 14-year, $340M extension in the offseason. They and their fans were undoubtedly filled with concern when Tatis went down in their fifth game this season, but he appears to have dodged a significant injury.
With Tatis out, the Padres have gone with Ha-Seong Kim and Jake Cronenworth at short. Both Kim and Cronenworth are versatile enough to play multiple positions, so they should get plenty of time on the field for San Diego when Tatis returns.