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Padres’ Fernando Tatis Jr. day-to-day after leaving game vs. Reds with shoulder injury

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USATSI

San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. exited Saturday’s game against the Cincinnati Reds alongside a trainer after appearing to suffer a shoulder injury in the fifth inning. After the game, manager Jayce Tingler told reporters (including Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune) Tatis petitioned to stay in the game, and that his range of the motion is good. The Padres consider him to be day to day.

Tatis departed after a diving-stop attempt on a Tyler Naquin grounder through the hole during the top of the fifth. He was in apparent discomfort after the attempt, slowly getting to his feet after possibly injuring his left shoulder. The Padres inserted rookie Ha-Seong Kim in Tatis’ place.

Earlier this season, Tatis missed nine games after suffering a “slight” labrum tear in the same shoulder on a swing. That injury did not require surgery, as he retained full range of motion, but the Padres exercised caution, placing him on the injured list so the inflammation could clear up. At the time, Padres doctors didn’t feel he could make the injury worse by playing through it.

Tatis also left a spring training game — coincidentally against the Reds — with what was described as “left shoulder discomfort.”

Despite the aforementioned missed time, Tatis entered Saturday hitting .283/.360/.677 (190 OPS+) with 22 home runs and 13 stolen bases (on 15 tries) in 228 plate appearances. His 3.3 Wins Above Replacement (according to Baseball Reference’s calculations) were the fourth-most in the majors among position players, trailing Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Carlos Correa, and Max Muncy.

Should Tatis require another stint on the injured list, the Padres would again likely turn to Kim on a full-time basis. He’s hit .209/.263/.333 (71 OPS+) with three home runs and five stolen bases in his first 167 plate appearances. Kim has struggled to find the right approach at the plate, running up a 4.56 strikeout-to-walk ratio, the worst mark among qualifiers on the Padres, and well above the league-average mark of 2.67.

San Diego entered Saturday’s contest with a 40-32 record, good for third place in the National League West. The Padres trailed the San Francisco Giants by six games.



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