Fernando Tatis Jr.'s third rehab game was his best yet.
The Padres' superstar shortstop is approaching a return at some point this month, and he looked like himself on Tuesday, playing for Double-A San Antonio at Frisco. Tatis went 2-for-2 with a double, a triple and a pair of walks before he left for a pinch-runner in the top of the seventh inning.
Tatis was initially scheduled to play center field on Tuesday night. But inclement weather in Frisco forced the Padres to reconsider, in an effort to keep him on the dirt and off the slick outfield grass. (Just another indicator how cautious the Padres are being with Tatis in his rehab.) He’s expected to play center for the first time on Wednesday.
Tatis began his rehab stint with San Antonio on Saturday. He went hitless in his first two games with a pair of walks. He was the designated hitter on Saturday before playing five innings at shortstop on Sunday.
Tatis underwent surgery to repair a fractured scaphoid bone in his left wrist on March 16. The team has avoided offering a specific timetable, with manager Bob Melvin saying only "mid-August-ish" for when Tatis might join the big league club.
"Reports are that he feels good," Melvin said Monday. "He needs some at-bats. He needs some games. ... It's the at-bats that are really going to tell the tale, how he feels from day to day and how he's feeling at the plate."
The Padres are determined not to rush Tatis' progression, but they also acknowledge that his build-up period will be an abbreviated one. As such, when he joins the Padres, the team plans to make liberal use of the DH spot for Tatis. He is expected to receive a few scheduled off-days, as well.