Fernando Tatis Jr. tested positive for PED use and will miss the rest of the 2022 season, including the playoffs Apr 19, 2022; San Diego, California, USA; San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. (23) looks on after the game against the Cincinnati Reds at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Fernando Tatis Jr. has missed the entire season recovering from an offseason wrist injury. He had recently started a rehab assignment and his return to the San Diego Padres appeared imminent. But that return will not happen in 2022, though it’s for an entirely different reason.

Jeff Passan of ESPN reported that Tatis will be suspended for 80 games for violating MLB’s performance-enhancing drug policy. The suspension will cover the rest of the season. As is the case with all PED tests, Tatis will also be ineligible for the postseason.

Including Friday, the Padres have 48 games remaining in 2022. So, he’ll miss roughly the first month of the 2023 season before being eligible to return.

The news is a punch in the gut to all baseball fans. Tatis is 23 and throughout his short career had shown himself to be one of baseball’s best, most exciting players.

The Padres released a statement that said in part that they “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.”


San Diego was not alone with that sentiment.

The baseball world was collectively stunned and saddened by the report.

As far as positive PED tests go in the post-steroid era, this is one of the biggest. The Padres traded for superstar Juan Soto at the trade deadline and with the pending return of Tatis, seemed to have one of the most feared lineups in baseball history.

San Diego still has a lot of talent left. So, it’s not impossible that the Padres can rally and win it all, like the San Francisco Giants did in 2012 when MVP candidate Melky Cabrera was suspended. But this will definitely make things harder on the Padres and will be a cloud that will follow Tatis for the rest of his career.

[Jeff Passan, Bob Nightengale]

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