Padres’ Fernando Tatis to be eased in, moved to OF

Spring is around the corner, and the San Diego Padres will play their first spring training game on Friday – but star Fernando Tatis Jr. isn’t expected to be in the lineup.

After missing all of last season due to three surgeries and a PED suspension, the Padres are planning on easing Tatis back onto the team.

Not only that, but when he does play, the plan, at least initially, is for Tatis to play in right field. Xander Bogaerts, signed to an 11-year, $280 million free-agent contract over the winter, will be the primary shortstop for the Padres this season.

Tatis still has 20 games remaining in his suspension, which means he won’t be eligible to rejoin the team until April 20. He can see game action during spring training in the meantime, then can consent to an unpaid assignment to a minor league affiliate for up to 15 days before the end of his suspension.