In today’s bitter Cup O’ Coffee we’ll talk the injury to Fernando Tatis Jr. and options for the Padres in the meantime.
The worst news coming from yesterday’s action in Washington D.C. wasn’t that the Padres failed to sweep. It wasn’t that the Padres dropped a 6 run lead to lose in extras. The biggest loss for this 16-12 squad may come from a possible shelving of their burgeoning superstar shortstop.
Fernando Tatis Jr. went up to snag a high throw from Matt Wisler to get the out at 2nd base in the 10th inning. At first it appeared the defensive wunderkind made an impressive snag…until his front leg slipped and Tatis went into a split stretch not unlike a first baseman. The collective Padres fanverse recoiled in horror. Tatis Jr. writhed on the ground. Worst case scenarios slammed into our collective psyches. Things were going too well. The other shoe had to drop. I needed a paper bag.
Andy Green and trainer Mark Rogow ran in to assist the ailing Tatis. The shortstop would walk off under his own power though looked worse for wear. The game continued with a mishmash of an infield: Machado took over shortstop (and made a vintage Machado play) while Wil Myers manned 2nd and Ian Kinsler played 3rd. Francisco Mejía donned an outfielder’s glove and played emergency left field.
There’s a fair bit to pick at in the aftermath of Tatis’ injury. First and foremost in many Padres fan’s minds is a timetable for return. Details have been scant as of yesterday and this writing. The call for the moment seems to be “day to day” with an announcement possible before the Braves contest later today. Any extended time off (longer than the Braves 4-game set, say) will likely prompt an Injury List stint and subsequent reinforcement call-up.
The Padres do have options for filling in should Tatis need a break to heal. Manny Machado is very capable of manning shortstop for the time being. The team may allow Ty France some actual playing time and plug him in at 3rd base. Ian Kinsler (ugh) could fill in at 3rd though…should…play…2nd…I guess. The best answer is to bring back Luis Urías, who is back to tearing up the PCL. Having an infield of France, Machado and Urías would probably be the most palatable option for Padres fans while Tatis is on the mend.
What will most likely happen? Urías will get called up to play short. The team (read: Andy Green) seems intent not to play France in the field and will not bench Kinsler…though Greg Garcia getting the nod yesterday could indicate a change in thinking. We could see an infield of Machado/Urías/Kinsler or Garcia.
One can only hope El Bebo is back in action and healthy sooner rather than later.