After an unlucky motorcycle accident took the primary half of Fernando Tatís Jr.‘s season from us, many baseball followers had been getting hyped to see him return to motion. He was pimping residence run balls within the minors and hitting heckling followers with that signature “can’t contact me” angle that many Padres followers love and plenty of rival followers like to hate. With Juan Soto becoming a member of forces with NL MVP candidate Manny Machado in Petco Park, the Padres had been setting themselves as much as be a devastating offense that might contend for an NL crown with division rivals, the Los Angeles Dodgers. Then this occurred.
The lengthy arm of the MLB legislation got here down arduous on Tatís, hitting him with an 80-game suspension for violating the league’s PED coverage. That’s a typical suspension for a first-time offender. Nothing to see there.
The one query now could be how badly does this suspension damage the Padres’ World Sequence possibilities?
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Fairly rattling arduous if I do say so.
There’s no denying that the Padres will make the playoffs. They’ve established themselves as top-of-the-line groups within the Nationwide League all season lengthy regardless of the absence of Tatís. However when the playoffs roll round, the Padres are going to want Tatís’s highly effective bat to maintain up with groups just like the Dodgers, Braves, and Mets.
Whereas residence runs are already answerable for a lot of the scoring within the common season, they grow to be all of the extra vital within the playoffs as groups typically solely throw out their finest pitchers. That capability so as to add to the scoreboard rapidly is what makes a group all of the extra harmful in October. Tatís is likely one of the finest within the league at hitting dingers. Hell, he led the Senior Circuit in that class final yr. The Padres’ present shortstop, Ha-Seong Kim has 6 residence runs and a .695 OPS. Whereas that’s nonetheless ok for a 101 OPS-plus, making him an ever so barely above-average hitter, it’s a far cry from the worth that Tatís would convey.
The Padres are simply not on the identical stage because the Dodgers with out their star shortstop. They only acquired swept by the Dodgers for goodness sake and that was after the trades for Soto, Hader, Bell, and Drury.
The Dodgers have extra playoff expertise, a greater group of younger stars so as to add to their 40-man roster down the stretch, and can probably have the higher document come the playoffs, giving them a first-round bye, and home-field benefit ought to these groups meet up within the NLDS or CS.
Tatís would’ve offered a much-needed spark for a group who has gone 2-8 in opposition to the Dodgers this yr. Sadly, the Dodgers will maintain the benefit for the remainder of the season. I’m not saying the Padres’ season is over, however the Dodgers maintain a large higher hand now.