The San Diego Padres are welcoming back a familiar face in an unusual place.
Fernando Tatis Jr. is back in the lineup, but instead of playing his customary shortstop position, he’ll make his first career start in right field for Sunday’s series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Tatis has been on the injured list since July 30 with left shoulder inflammation after partially dislocating his shoulder while sliding into third base. He has left three games this season because he partially dislocated his shoulder, with offseason surgery a possibility.
While recovering from this latest injury, Tatis started shagging fly balls in center field, leading to questions about where on the field he might play upon his return. Instead he’ll play in right field, with Gold Glove winner Trent Grisham staying in center and Tommy Pham in left field as the Padres look to bounce back a day after being no-hit by Arizona’s Tyler Gilbert in his first major league start. Jake Cronenworth will continue to play at shortstop.
San Diego will gladly welcome Tatis back at any position as, despite his injury absence, he still leads the National League in home runs (31) and stolen bases (23).
The news wasn’t all positive for the Padres on Sunday as the team placed right-hander Yu Darvish on the 10-day injured list with lower back tightness retroactive to Friday.
Darvish (7-7, 3.70) left his start on Thursday in the third inning with the back ailment. He joins fellow pitchers Drew Pomeranz, Dinelson Lamet and Chris Paddack on the Padres’ injured list.
San Diego enters play Sunday third in the NL West,10 games back of the San Francisco Giants, but holds a 2½-game lead for the second wild-card spot.