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Padres 'very encouraged' by Tatis' progress

@oapostrophesd
January 11, 2020

SAN DIEGO -- Fernando Tatis Jr. did not appear at the Padres’ annual FanFest on Saturday at Petco Park. He was, nonetheless, one of the primary topics of conversation. As Tatis stayed home to continue his rehab from a stress reaction in his back, new Padres manager Jayce Tingler said

SAN DIEGO -- Fernando Tatis Jr. did not appear at the Padres’ annual FanFest on Saturday at Petco Park. He was, nonetheless, one of the primary topics of conversation.

As Tatis stayed home to continue his rehab from a stress reaction in his back, new Padres manager Jayce Tingler said everything is looking bright for the 21-year-old shortstop’s fitness for 2020.

“All the reports have been ultra-positive,” Tingler said. “I’ve been watching a lot of videos of him swinging the bat, him running, doing all his training. The group, the organization, is very encouraged about where he’s at.”

Tatis’ rookie season ended on Aug. 13 because of the back issue. He also missed the month of May because of a hamstring strain.

Tatis plays with abandon on the bases and on defense. The injuries have prompted questions about whether it’s reckless abandon. Tatis vowed in August not to change his game.

Tingler is aboard with that line of thinking.

“I’m certainly not prepared to tell him to slow down or anything like that,” Tingler said. “The way he plays the game -- obviously, he has a unique ability. I’d hate to see any style change to the way he plays. I personally admire anyone who goes 100 percent and dives and goes down first [hard]. If we ever get to a point where it’s a little out of control, then we’d sit down and talk about that.”

Reins loosened for Paddack
After being shut down when he reached his innings limit at 140 2/3 frames as a rookie, right-hander Chris Paddack is eager to go without restrictions as a sophomore.

“I’m going to go as far as I can, as far as they’ll let me,” he said. “My goal this year is 180 innings. Why not be the force of the staff?”

Paddack made his mark quickly with a devastating changeup. When hitters started to adjust, Paddack worked in-season to improve his curveball. He has continued to perfect the pitch during his offseason throwing program, with an interesting technique.

“Something that’s been working for me,” Paddack said, “is that I’m basically closing my eyes and throwing it into a net -- not seeing the result, just basically trying to get the feel of what I’m feeling on a good one vs. a bad one.”

New wrinkle for Lucchesi
Left-hander Joey Lucchesi said he has been working on a new pitch.

“But I’m not going to talk about it,” he said.

That will be something to keep an eye on during Spring Training.

Shaun O'Neill is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in San Diego. Follow him on Twitter @oapostrophesd.