Young San Diego Padres slugger Fernando Tatis Jr. looks poised to return to MLB action in 2023. This comes after the young Dominican was forced to sit out the entire 2022 season after he was found to be using a controlled substance.
Tatis Jr. first burst onto the scene in 2019 for the Padres. He was immediately evaluated by observers as a hot-headed yet talented young utility player.
"All of Fernando Tatis Jr’s 81 Career Home Runs (Just the swing)" - @ Danny
He turned heads after finishing 2019 with a batting average of .317 to accompany his 22 home runs and 53 RBIs. Padres management jumped on him as soon as they could, nullifying his rookie status in favor of a massive 14-year contract worth $340 million that will see him stay in a Padres uniform until the mid-2030s.
However, despite the obvious skill, Fernando Tatis Jr. has not always had it easy in the MLB. A muscular stress reaction in his shoulder in his first season limited him to only 84 games.
Since then, his shoulders have haunted him. During the 2021 season, he missed about 30 games due to a shoulder injury that rendered him unable to play.
Tatis injured himself again in the winter of 2021 after a motorcycle accident that required scaphoid bone surgery. He underwent the procedure in March 2022 and was expected to return around the halfway point of the 2022 season.
However, in August 2022, Fernando Tatis Jr. was found to have anabolic steroids in his system and was suspended by the MLB for 80 games. Although Tatis Jr. appealed, claiming that the steroid was present in the medication that he was taking, the league did not budge. Tatis Jr. ended up missing the entire 2022 season.
"Fernando Tatis Jr. addressed the media for the first time since his suspension" - @ Jomboy Media
Tatis Jr. is considered a cornerstone of the Padres organization, and the team is undoubtedly keen to have him back. Following the team's NLCS loss to the Philadelphia Phillies, they are more aware than ever of how much of a difference one player can make. Tatis Jr. will be released from his suspension on April 20, 2023.
Fernando Tatis Jr. is only getting started
Tatis has served his sentence, regardless of whether the substances found in his system were intended to enhance performance. He still has decades of baseball ahead of him at the age of 23. Fans will undoubtedly be thrilled to see Tatis return to the Padres early next season.