Tatis on Tuesday met with the surgeon who repaired the wrist in March and was cleared to increase the intensity of his fielding drills. “I know he’s excited about the fact that he’s going to be on the field with us, no restrictions as far as taking ground balls, throwing and so forth,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said, via MLB.com. “Hitting’s going to be the last thing.”
For Tatis and the Padres this is particularly encouraging news given that, at last update, he wasn’t progressing quite as hoped. Now, though, he’s increasing activity, and a potential timetable for his return is starting to emerge. The next step will be swinging the bat at full speed, which could happen in about two weeks. Additional ramping up plus a minor-league rehab assignment would come next, which means Tatis could be in line for a late July or early August return to the active roster, barring setbacks. The Padres have yet to announce such plans, but Tuesday’s news makes that the likely timeline. The injury was the result of a motorcycle accident, but Tatis didn’t realize his wrist was broken until he reported to spring training.
The Padres this season have fared quite well in Tatis’ absence, but getting back one of the best players in baseball will be a major boon in any context. Tatis, 23, hit .282/.364/.611 (165 OPS+) with 31 doubles, 42 homers, 97 RBI, 99 runs, 25 steals and 6.6 WAR in 130 games last season. For his career, he owns an OPS+ of 160 across parts of three big-league seasons.