Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres Star, Tests Positive For PEDs

by Nick Geddes

Fernando Tatis Jr.’s 2022 MLB season is over — although it never really began.

The San Diego Padres shortstop violated the league’s performance-enhancing drug policy and has been suspended 80 games, per Jeff Passan of ESPN. Tatis Jr. is out for the remainder of this season and is ineligible for the postseason. The suspension will carry over into the 2023 season.

Tatis Jr., 23, hasn’t played this season, recovering from a wrist injury he suffered riding a motorcycle this past offseason. He was set to return soon, as he’s been rehabbing with Double-A San Antonio. That plan has gone up in smoke, just as San Diego’s has after they were the most active team at last week’s trade deadline.

The Padres notably acquired outfielder Juan Soto and first baseman Josh Bell from the Washington Nationals for five prospects and first baseman Luke Voit. The plan was to roll out an October lineup consisting of Soto, Tatis Jr., and third baseman Manny Machado, which we will not see until next spring at the earliest.

“We were surprised and extremely disappointed to learn today that Fernando Tatis Jr. tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Prevention and Treatment Program and subsequently received an 80-game suspension without pay,” the Padres said in a statement. “We fully support the Program and are hopeful that Fernando will learn from this experience.”

Fernando Tatis Jr.’s Continued Absence Hurts San Diego Padres’ Playoff Chances

Tatis Jr. is one of the game’s brightest and most marketable stars. He burst on the scene during the 2019 season, before breaking out in 2021. He paced the Senior Circuit with 42 home runs last season and drove in 97 runs. Tatis Jr. earned the first All-Star selection of his career and finished third in National League MVP voting. He’s in the second season of a 14-year, $340 million deal.

His continued absence will be felt, as it has through the first four months of the season. The Padres are 63-51, 16 games back of rival Los Angeles Dodgers for first place in the NL West. They’re clinging to a 1.0 game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers for the third and final Wild Card spot.