The biggest news on Friday came from one of the SF Giants division rivals. Multiple sources confirmed that San Diego Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. was issued an 80-game suspension after failing a performance-enhancing drug (PED) test).
SF Giants division rival suspended for failed PED test
Tatis Jr. testing positive for Clostebol, which he claimed he had been used to treat ringworm. Regardless of the reasoning, his season is over before it ever began. It has been a roller-coaster of a season for the 23-year-old shortstop.
He fractured his wrist before the season began after a motorcycle accident. That knocked him out for the first half of the year and he was nearing a return after beginning a rehab assignment with San Diego's Double-A affiliate. He collected two hits in nine at-bats before being assessed the suspension.
Padres fans were budding with excitement at the trade deadline as they acquired a handful of talented players headlined by outfielder Juan Soto along with first baseman Josh Bell and middle infielder Brandon Drury. They were eager to see what a lineup featuring Tatis Jr., Soto, and Manny Machado might look like but they will have to wait until next season for that.
It is an unfortunate turn of events for one of the game's brightest stars. In his first three seasons, Tatis Jr. slashed .292/.369/.596 (159 OPS+) with an 11.4 percent walk rate against a 27.6 percent strikeout rate. This included a stellar 2021 campaign in which he posted a .975 OPS with 42 home runs while finishing third in the NL MVP voting.
Prior to that season, the shortstop inked a 14-year, $340 million extension to keep him in San Diego through his age-35 season. According to Joe Trezza of MLB.Com, Padres starter Mike Clevinger expressed frustration over Tatis Jr.'s season:
Those sentiments were shared by Padres general manager A.J. Preller as Dennis Lin of The Athletic reports:
The Giants have posted a 5-8 record against the Padres in 2022. With five games remaining against the division rivals, things were only going to get tougher for San Francisco with the return of Tatis Jr. However, that is one player they will not face in 2022.
Tatis Jr. battled a nagging shoulder injury last season and was dealing with the self-inflicted wrist injury this season. Hopefully, the growing list of injuries do not impact his performance. Despite the rough season, the Padres star still has plenty of good years ahead of him. Despite the tough year, this can still be a learning experience for the young star.