PHOENIX -- Fernando Tatis Jr. arrived in Arizona this week and quickly received good news.
On Tuesday, the Padres shortstop met with the surgeon who performed the March 16 operation to repair the fractured scaphoid bone in his left wrist. Manager Bob Melvin said Tatis was cleared to "ramp up what he's doing on the defensive end.”
The star was with the team prior to the series opener vs. the D-backs at Chase Field.
"I know he's excited about the fact that he's going to be on the field with us, no restrictions as far as taking ground balls, throwing and so forth," Melvin said. "Hitting's going to be the last thing."
After his meeting with the surgeon, Tatis didn't wait long to accompany his San Diego teammates to the field. He joined them during batting practice to scoop grounders and work through defensive drills. Prior to this, he had been playing catch, fielding ground balls hit directly to him, taking some light dry swings and hitting briefly off a tee with a fungo bat.
Tatis still isn’t swinging a bat at full speed quite yet, but he’s expected to potentially do so in about two weeks. At that point, he’ll need to work through a hitting progression and then go on a Minor League rehab assignment after that.
So it doesn’t appear likely that Tatis will be back until after the All-Star break, possibly around late July or early August, depending on how things go once he begins to hit. Melvin doesn’t have an exact timeline, and he won’t until Tatis adds that final piece to his recovery plan.
“It depends on how we kind of configure it before he starts playing games. And then how he feels during the rehab process," Melvin said. "You certainly want him coming back when he feels good about how he’s swinging the bat. More days with us is probably better than less days with us. But he doesn’t have a Spring Training, so it will be literally a day-to-day process, even though once he starts [hitting], we’ll probably have it mapped out and then go from there on how he feels.”