Tatis Jr. may be out for season with thumb injury

Padres GM on top prospect: 'We'll look at potentially a fracture, potentially some ligament damage'

July 20th, 2018

PHILADELPHIA -- Fernando Tatis Jr.'s long-awaited big league debut probably isn't going to take place this season, after all.

Tatis, the Padres' top prospect and No. 3 on MLB Pipeline's 100 Prospects List, injured his left thumb sliding headfirst into second base on a steal attempt Thursday. The 19-year-old shortstop will see a hand specialist this weekend in San Diego, and sources said his injury could require season-ending surgery.

It's undoubtedly a tough blow for the Padres, but a team source noted that the club doesn't view the injury as problematic in the long-term. Still, it makes a 2018 callup for Tatis -- currently with Double-A San Antonio -- very unlikely.

"We'll have more information I think here this weekend," general manager A.J. Preller said Friday morning on MLB Network Radio. "… I think we'll look at potentially a fracture, potentially some ligament damage. We'll get a sense here coming out of the MRI over the weekend. They want some of the swelling to go down and then get an idea where it goes from there. I think, ultimately, we'll have more of a better idea when we get through the weekend what it's going to mean. He's probably going to miss some time, though."

Tatis was hitting .286/.355/.507 with 43 RBIs in 88 games with San Antonio this season. Closing in on what would be a second consecutive 20-20 season, he led off Thursday's game with his 16th homer of the year and was attempting to steal his 17th base when he sustained the injury.

It was an unfortunate setback for the Padres on the day they added a 10th Top 100 prospect to their system by trading Brad Hand and to Cleveland for catcher (No. 15 overall).

The injury also puts some question marks surrounding San Diego's offseason plans at shortstop. becomes a free agent after the year, and the Padres don't have a ready-made replacement. Presumably, Tatis could slide into that spot, but the Padres envisioned some further Minor League development for him before his big league callup.