The face of the Padres is back.
For the first time in 564 days, Fernando Tatis Jr. will suit up for a regular season MLB game tonight. After motorcycle accident(s), wrist surgeries, and an 80-game steroid suspension, El Nino will return to San Diego's lineup tonight against the Diamondbacks.
Welcome Home, Old Friend.@Tatis_Jr | #Padres pic.twitter.com/vv7KYTZyEi— Borna Nazari (@thehogwatch) April 20, 2023
Padres Favored In Tatis' Return
For the first time, the Padres can trot out their fully formed super lineup, with Tatis Jr. joining Juan Soto, Manny Machado, and Xander Bogaerts in the same batting order. The Padres' offense could use an injection (no pun intended) like Tatis, after scoring just two runs over their previous four games combined.
With Michael Wacha on the mound for SD, the Padres are -150 moneyline favorites against the Arizona Diamondbacks. They'll be facing right-handed pitcher Ryne Nelson. Tatis has never faced Nelson in his career, but his Padres' teammates Juan Soto and Manny Machado both have homers against him.
Tatis' April 20th Prop Markets
|Market||Line||OVER Odds||UNDER Odds|
|Runs + RBI||0.5||-233||+175|
Don't Expect A Rusty Tatis
If you're expecting Tatis Jr. to come back from his suspension as a lesser player or rusty, don't. From his spring and minors numbers, it looks like El Nino is on a mission.
Tatis played in eight minor-league games to prepare for his MLB return, hitting .515, slapping seven homers, stealing two bases, and walking twice as much as he struck out. Despite playing in half of the Padres' Triple-A affiliate's games, Tatis has twice as many homers as any other player, leads the team in RBI, and leads the Pacific Coast League in batting average.
He also played in 16 spring training games before heading to Triple-A, hitting two homers, stealing three bases, and batting .273.
Why Was Fernando Tatis Jr. Suspended?
In August 2022, Tatis was suspended for 80 games for testing positive for Clostebol, an anabolic steroid. The suspension kept him out for the remainder of the year and the first few weeks of this 2023 season. Tatis claimed the positive test arose from a "ringworm treatment medication," but there was plenty of skepticism around that claim.
The suspension further sullied a 2022 season in which Tatis missed three months with a wrist bone injury after an offseason motorcycle accident. He hasn't played in a regular season game since October 2021.