Fernando Tatis, Jr. will have shoulder surgery, likely correcting more than one problem that came with this ailment. The San Diego Padres‘ home dugout at Petco Park was crowded with reporters, tv cameras, microphones, and voice recorders on Aug. 23. Seated next to Padres GM AJ Preller, Tatis said he “failed” when describing his suspension. Tatis said he failed his teammates, the front office, the Padres fanbase, and his family. He met with his teammates earlier in the day, and Padres owner Peter Seidler. “I have lost so much love from people. I have failed,” Tatis told reporters.
That same day, reporters said that Tatis will undergo shoulder surgery. He injured his shoulder during the 2021 season, and chose to play through it. He went on the IL three separate times due to his decision. Tatis showed up to spring training this past February with an injured wrist. He had surgery to repair it, which kept him off the field until his suspension. He will use the offseason to recover from shoulder surgery ,and Padres fans are hoping he’ll be ready when his suspension ends.
Tatis Apologizes to Padres
Tatis took accountability for his actions with his words in the dugout. He let down his teammates, he said in a low tone. Tatis is serving an 80-game suspension for violating the MLB banned substance policy. He tested positive for a substance called Clostebol, a synthetic anabolic steroid. When the news of his suspension went public, Tatis said he used Clostebol to treat ringworm. His story, along with his appeal, didn’t hold up in the eyes of major league baseball. He began his 80-game suspension on Aug. 13. He will not be eligible to play again until May 2023 at the earliest.
“I would like to start today just by saying how truly sorry I am,” Tatis said, looking defeated as he sat on the home bench. “I am really sorry. I have let so many people down.”
Tatis said he is aware of the long road to redemption ahead. He acknowledged, also, that he has to do a better job of keeping track of what goes in his body. Tatis said he began using Clostebol in June to treat the infection. He was still using it in July when he failed a drug test.
“We’ve all made dumb mistakes that we regret,” Padres third baseman Manny Machado told reporters inside the clubhouse. “But we’ve just got to move past it and learn from it and hold yourself accountable. Today, he came in here and spoke to the group, said what he needed to say. At the end of the day, we’re all family here.”
Starting pitcher Joe Musgrove acknowledged that the conversation was not easy for Tatis. “For him to come in and face the team, face-to-face, and be honest with us and let us know what happened, that’s what everyone wanted,” Musgrove said.
Shoulder Surgery is Next
Tatis said during his interview that actions are more important than words. Perhaps he is following through on that statement. After deciding against surgery all last season, he now will have the operation.
Kevin Acee, the Padres beat writer for the San Diego Union-Tribune, tweeted on Aug. 23 that Tatis will go under the knife. The news shocked the baseball world, given his reputation of trusting his body over outside advice. He is expected to finish rehabilitating the injured shoulder when his suspension ends.
When Tatis does return, he will have played only a handful of games in more than a year. He was on a rehab assignment, which was nearly complete when his suspension went active.
What About After the Surgery?
Tatis’s abilities will be in question when he nears getting back on the diamond. One concern is that Tatis will go the same way as the Los Angeles Dodgers‘ Cody Bellinger. He had shoulder surgery in November of 2020 and regressed when he returned. A correlation between this surgery and regression can’t be found. Plus, Bellinger has also dealt with lower body injuries during his career.
With a focus on recovery and mechanics, Tatis can return to the same form. He is a two-time First Team All-MLB selection, and finished third in MVP voting last season. One of the brightest young superstars in the game, a full return to form is the best outcome for the Padres. More importantly, it’s the best outcome for baseball.
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