Tatis sees first game action of '22 in rehab stint

August 7th, 2022

Here’s a sight for sore eyes: At long last, Fernando Tatis Jr. is playing baseball again.

The Padres’ superstar shortstop began his rehab stint with Double-A San Antonio on Saturday night -- his first game action in more than 10 months. And, after all that waiting, Tatis had to wait another hour or two for his first chance to swing the bat.

Tatis led off for San Antonio as the team’s designated hitter in a 5-1 home loss to Wichita. In each of his first two trips to the plate, he walked on four pitches. Tatis struck out swinging in his first official at-bat in the fifth, then popped to third base in the eighth, finishing his night 0-for-2 with a pair of walks.

Tatis underwent surgery to repair the scaphoid bone in his left wrist on March 16. He was cleared to begin a swinging progression in mid-July, and his current rehab stint is the final step in that progression before he is cleared to return to the Padres.

The team has not put a timetable on when that might happen. Manager Bob Melvin noted that Tatis would see game action at both shortstop and center field while on his rehab stint.

"We’re going to take that day to day," Melvin said Friday. "He didn’t have a spring, hasn’t played in the field yet. So we’ll monitor him as we go along."

Tatis flew to San Antonio on Friday after he received eight simulated at-bats before the Padres’ series opener at Dodger Stadium. He underwent a scheduled scan on his wrist on Thursday, which came back clean. Melvin noted that, barring a setback, this was likely the last time Tatis would undergo imaging, as he has passed every test.

Tatis' return to the lineup would give the Padres quite a boost. They landed Juan Soto, Josh Bell and Brandon Drury before the Trade Deadline, prompting Soto to wish, "Good luck to all the pitchers."

"I feel like we're going to put up a show," Tatis said earlier this week. "It's going to be really fun to watch."