Fernando Tatis Jr. Nearing Rehab Assignment

Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. has been out since late April with a left hamstring strain, but it appears he’s nearing a return to game action. The rookie sensation could start a rehab assignment at “the beginning of next week,” according to manager Andy Green (via Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune). Barring setbacks, Tatis would then have 20 days to return to the majors.

At the time of his injury on April 28, Tatis was perhaps the early front-runner for National League Rookie of the Year honors. The 20-year-old slashed .300/.360/.550 (139 wRC+) with six some runs and six steals over his first 111 plate appearances in the bigs.

Tatis’ production helped San Diego to a 16-12 start, but the club has gone just 14-15 without him. Nevertheless, the surprising Padres (30-27) are within a mere half-game of a wild-card spot, and they’ll likely need a healthy Tatis back for a chance to snap their 12-year playoff drought.

The Padres’ shortstop position has been in the capable hands of Manny Machado during Tatis’ absence, which has left third base to Greg Garcia and Ty France. While the lefty-swinging Garcia has batted a solid .264/.364/.407 (110 wRC+) in 107 trips to the plate, the righty-hitting France has only mustered a .230/.292/.368 slash (77 wRC+) in 96 PA.

from MLB Trade Rumors http://bit.ly/2Mkcm7B

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