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San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. has yet to address his teammates since being suspended by Major League Baseball for 80 games after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance.
A meeting with the team is expected by the end of the week, but Padres manager Bob Melvin said the meeting was “still kind of up for debate, if and when that's going to happen,” according to a report by ESPN.
In a statement following the news of his suspension, Tatis Jr. said he “inadvertently” took medication in order to treat ringworm that contained Clostebol, a banned substance.
“We just wanna hear him be genuine and honest in here,” Padres outfielder Wil Myers said. “What happens in here stays in here. As far as the trust being broken – I think that's obviously true in the respect of what happened, but that's not to say that from a teammate perspective that can't be won back.”
Tatis Jr. reportedly met with San Diego’s president of baseball operations A.J. Preller on Thursday and will meet with Padres chairman Peter Seidler over the weekend.
Preller did not hold back following news of the suspension, telling reporters that trust between the two parties needs to be re-established.
“We’ll start digging into the shoulder and wrist; we’ll look a little bit more into that now because we’ll have some more time to have some conversations there,” Preller said. “I think what we need to get to is a point in time where we trust.
“Over the course of the last six or seven months, I think that’s been something that we haven’t really been able to have there.
“From our standpoint, obviously he’s a great talent, he’s a guy we have a lot of history with and do believe in. But these things only work when there’s trust both ways. I think that’s going to be something that we’re going to have plenty of conversation and time to talk to Fernando about. That’s something that, clearly, if we’re going to have a partnership and a real relationship, we’re going to have to make sure that that’s strong.”
The Padres inked Tatis Jr. to a massive contract in 2021, agreeing to a 14-year, $340 million extension, but he will not appear in a single game during the 2022 season.
Tatis Jr. was inching closer to returning to the Padres prior to the suspension after undergoing offseason wrist surgery.
San Diego is looking to make the playoffs for just the second time since the 2006 season and is currently clinging to a one-game lead over the Milwaukee Brewers for the final Wild Card spot.