He's back: Fernando Tatis Jr. returns to San Diego Padres lineup for first time since 2021

Padres fernando Tatis Returns Baseball
Posted at 7:02 AM, Apr 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-20 19:18:24-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) – It’s a day many in the San Diego Padres social media universe are calling “Tatismas.” 

On Thursday in Arizona, Fernando Tatis Jr. is set to appear in a Major League Baseball regular season game for the first time since the 2021 season.

The last 18-plus months for Tatis have included surgeries for hand and shoulder injuries, and an 80-game PED suspension handed down by MLB.

During Tatis’ time away, the Padres have hired a new manager, amassed talent all over the field, and came just short of a World Series appearance.

Now, the Friars are hoping El Niño’s return will spark a team that has struggled out of the gate in 2023.

By all indications, the 24-year-old Tatis is more than ready to hit the ground running after a minor league rehab assignment that resulted in numerous highlight-reel home runs and displays of the athleticism and swag that made him one of the faces of baseball.

Tatis is expected to primarily play right field in his return to the big leagues, as the shortstop position he once manned is now occupied by offseason free agent signee Xander Bogaerts.

The Padres are expected to slot Tatis in the leadoff spot in the batting order as they begin a four-game series in Phoenix against the Diamondbacks.