Padres superstar shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. departed their game Monday against the Giants with an apparent left elbow injury, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com was among those to report. Tatis struck out in an at-bat against Giants right-hander Anthony DeSclafani and then went down “crumpled in a heap,” per Cassavell. Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area provided video on Twitter.
A serious injury to Tatis would not only be a massive loss for the Padres, who have World Series hopes this year, but the game of baseball as a whole. The 22-year-old was one of the most ballyhooed prospects in the sport before he reached the majors, and he has more than lived up to that status so far in the bigs. Dating back to his 2019 debut, Tatis has slashed .298/.372/.577 (148 wRC+) with 40 home runs, 27 stolen bases and 6.5 fWAR in just 147 games and 648 plate appearances. He’s among the main reasons the Padres look like an elite team on paper, not to mention one of baseball’s greatest talents.
Tatis has been so productive during his short career that the Padres signed him to a jaw-dropping 14-year, $340MM extension near the end of February. The Padres obviously did so with confidence that Tatis would stay healthy, but now they may be dealing with a disastrous scenario just a few games into his contract.