Another unfortunate setback occurred for the San Diego Padres Friday night when superstar slugger Fernando Tatis Jr. was suspended by Major League Baseball for 80 games. That suspension cited Tatis violating the league’s performance-enhancement drug policy by testing positive for an anabolic steroid called Clostebol.
Many on the Padres reacted to Tatis’ suspension. One of the latest there is manager Bob Melvin, who spoke on the incident before Saturday’s game against the Nationals -. Melvin told reporters that he reached out to Tatis, saying Tatis feels “remorseful.”
The first-year manager wouldn’t detail anything else from the private phone conversation. But when asked if Tatis would speak in front of the team, Melvin said he doesn’t “know where and when that would potentially happen.”
Among the players on the team who were critical of Tatis was pitcher Mike Clevinger, who said he was “disappointed” and hopes the shortstop realizes “it’s about more than just him right now.”
This shocking suspension has officially put Tatis (seen above in the Padres’ dugout in June) on ice for the rest of the 2022 season. He hasn’t played at all this year after he broke his left wrist in the offseason during a motorcycle accident in the Dominican Republic.
Before the injury, he was one of the brightest young stars in the game, knocking a NL-high 42 home runs last season.
San Diego is in the middle of a heated race for a wild card playoff slot. They currently hold the NL’s third and final spot with a 64-52 record entering Sunday. With the addition of Juan Soto, Josh Bell, and Brandon Drury, Melvin seems confident they can fill Tatis’ impact in the lineup.
“We like our team very much,” Melvin said. “If somebody got injured along the way here, we’d still feel good about our team. So that’s kind of how you have to treat the Tatis situation.”
[ESPN; photo from Quinn Harris/USA Today Sports]