PHOENIX — Fernando Tatis Jr., who has been on the injured list since July 31 because of a partial left shoulder dislocation, could be activated as early as Sunday.
“I do think from a baseball standpoint, the coaches, and Tatis knowing his body and all those things, I would say within the next 48 hours,” Padres manager Jayce Tingler said Saturday afternoon of Tatis’ impending return. “I feel pretty confident in that.”
The rehabbing All-Star worked out at the club’s Spring Training complex in nearby Peoria, Ariz., on Saturday and continues to make progress. He had six at-bats and accelerated his baseball activity exercises. Tatis then took batting practice on the field at Chase Field before the Padres faced the D-backs.
“He feels that he is really close, and he feels that he is ready to go,” Tingler said. “As far as he has progressed with some of the drills and the baseball activity things, it’s probably gone a little bit quicker than maybe what was expected. We need to regroup there with the trainers medically and get their thoughts on some things.”
Tatis, who has worked out in right field and shortstop this week, is currently in his third stint on the IL this year. He has already partially dislocated his left shoulder at least four times. The belief is that a shift to the outfield would minimize the chances of another shoulder subluxation.
That said, the club isn’t ready to announce which position Tatis will play when he returns. The manager believes Tatis could play all three outfield positions in addition to shortstop if necessary.
“As far as the factors, the health is going to be the main component, and that’s going to be first and foremost,” Tingler said. “We want to do the best we can at taking some of the risk out. … I think he is going to be capable of playing shortstop and moving around the outfield a little bit. That may not be right off the bat as he gets back into playing, but I do think that’s something that can evolve with time and grow.”
The Padres could definitely use a spark. The club has lost three games in a row and narrowly lead the Reds by 2 1/2 games in the race for the second National League Wild Card spot. San Diego trails the NL West-leading Giants by 10 games.
Tingler admits his club is pressing.
“We’re ready to take off, and when it hadn’t happened yet, naturally you try to do a little bit too much,” he said. “That would be my best explanation of understanding that we’ve got to get going. They understand that.”