The San Diego Padres added another All-Star to their star-studded lineup Thursday night, as Fernando Tatis Jr. played in an MLB game for the first time since the end of the 2021 season.
After missing most of the 2022 season recovering from wrist surgery following a motorcycle accident, Tatis was suspended 80 games in August after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
After starting the season with Triple-A El Paso, Tatis played right field against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday, going 0-5 with two strikeouts in his return.
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“It's great to be back out there with my boys,” Tatis said. “Just happy to get that ‘W' and be back out there. Embraced every single moment, embraced the fans, embraced everything.”
Tatis, who made the position change from shortstop to right field in the offseason, made a nice play on a line drive in the eighth inning, robbing Diamondbacks third baseman Josh Rosas of an extra-base hit.
“It's just not that easy to come in and get four or five hits like everyone expects,” Padres manager Bob Melvin said. “But he definitely contributed in the outfield.”
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San Diego defeated Arizona 7-5 on the road, moving to 10-11 on the season.
“I embraced every single moment,” Tatis said after the game, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. “I embraced the fans. I embraced everything. Just happy to be back out there. . . . Just me getting back on the field, I feel like that was just the full highlight of the day for me. Remembering everything I went through, every single process, every surgery, every moment at night, at midnight, when I would wake up just thinking what I was going to do next in my life.”
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Tatis Jr. was suspended by Major League Baseball on August 12, 2022, claiming he had “inadvertently” taken medication in order to treat ringworm.
The medication contained Clostebol, which is a banned substance.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.