Fernando Tatis Jr. Fernando Tatis Jr. plays for the El Paso Chihuahuas on April 15, 2023 at Southwest University Park before returning to the San Diego Padres. Tatis73

The San Diego Padres have struggled early on this season, sitting at just 8-9 on the year thus far. However, they are set to get a dramatic boost to their lineup with star player Fernando Tatis Jr. expected to return from his lengthy suspension dating back to last season.

Tatis was dealt an 80-game suspension last August for violating the MLB’s performance-enhancing drug policy. That suspension carried over to the 2023 season, but he will have served his suspension and be cleared to return ahead of Thursday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The former All-Star has been playing for the team’s Triple-A affiliate to begin the season. However, he was seen at batting practice on Monday at Petco Park before the Padres game against the Atlanta Braves.

Many took notice of this appearance from Tatis and believe that this is a great sign ahead of his likely activation by the Padres later this week.

It seems like Tatis will remain with the team until his suspension is officially up. According to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Tatis will work out at Petco Park for the next three days and travel with the team to Arizona after Wednesday’s game.

In his brief stint with the Padres Triple-A affiliate, Tatis showed sparks of his elite play. He batted .515/.590/1.212 with seven home runs in eight games with the El Paso Chihuahuas.

Tatis’s return will add to what is an absolutely lethal lineup on paper for the Padres, including Juan Soto, Manny Machado, and Xander Bogaerts.

[Talkin’ Baseball on Twitter, Kevin Acee on Twitter]

About Reice Shipley

Reice Shipley is a staff writer for Comeback Media that graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Sports Media. He previously worked at Barrett Sports Media and is a fan of all things Syracuse sports.