Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr. is about to begin a rehab assignment. They will see action at shortstop and center field.

Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr. is about to begin a rehab assignment.  They will see action at shortstop and center field.

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Fathers All-star Fernando Tatis Jr. is scheduled to make a rehab start this weekend with San Diego’s Double-A affiliate. Manager Bob Melvin said on Friday. Tatis took part in batting practice with the Padres before Friday night’s game before leaving to join the San Antonio Missions.

Tatis, 23, has not played this season. After surgery in March to repair a broken wrist. The original timeline put it out in three months or until June. Major League Baseball rules stipulate that a position player can spend up to 20 days rehabbing, meaning Tatis will have to make his season debut before the calendar shifts to September.

“I don’t think we have a certain number of at-bats.” Melvin said. Regarding Tatis’ rehabilitation schedule. “Also, you want to get a guy back here when he’s swinging the bat well. We’re in the offseason, it’s not going to be a three-week process to get him back here, so we can just take it day by day and see where he’s at physically and how he’s feeling at the plate.”

Tatis is expected to see action at designated hitter and his usual position, shortstop and center field. He played in 24 games last season, and the Padres want him to remain versatile in part so they can keep playing infielder Ha-Seung Kim. The sure-handed Kim had an exceptional season at the plate in Tatis’ absence, even beating out center fielder Trent Grisham with an OPS over 40.

Of course, wherever Tatis plays, he’ll step into a new-look Padres lineup following the week-long trade that added outfielder Juan Soto, first baseman Josh Bell, and infielder Brandon Drury.

When healthy, Tatis is one of the best players in the majors. In 273 career games, he hit .292/.369/.596 (160 OPS+) with 81 home runs and 52 stolen bases. According to Baseball Reference calculations, his contributions are estimated to be 13.6 wins above replacement.

The Padres enter Saturday’s game with a 61-48 record, which puts them 13 ½ games behind their opponent. Los Angeles Dodgers, in the National League West. The Padres are 1 ½ games back. Atlanta Braves for the NL’s top wild card spot.



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