Padres star Tatis feels better, expected back in lineup soon

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San Diego Padres' Fernando Tatis Jr., left, walks off the field following an injury in the third inning of a spring training baseball game against the Cincinnati Reds Tuesday, March 23, 2021, in Peoria, Ariz. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

Fernando Tatis Jr. is feeling a lot better, a huge relief to the star San Diego shortstop, his team and his many fans.

A day after Tatis walked off the field during an exhibition game in a worrisome scene, the Padres said the discomfort in his left shoulder had improved.

In fact, the flashy 22-year-old wanted to play Wednesday night against San Francisco in Scottsdale, Arizona.

No way, manager Jayce Tingler said.

“He’s feeling really good today. In fact he was lobbying to get in the lineup today, so I thought that was very encouraging,” Tingler said.

“He’s going to have a good work day today and we’ll kind of see where it goes. I think everybody’s kind of expecting him to be back in the lineup in the next day or two. Very encouraging news,” he said.

The sight of Tatis suddenly leaving Tuesday’s game after making a backhanded play was a jolt to the Padres, who have high expectations for this season coming off San Diego’s first playoff appearance in 14 years. Tatis has quickly become one of the faces of baseball, and last month he signed the longest deal in major league history, for 14 years and $340 million.

Tatis fielded the ball hit by Cincinnati’s Jonathan India, made a one-hop throw to first base and then began walking off the field. He was met by Tingler and a trainer. After a few minutes in the dugout, Tatis headed toward the clubhouse accompanied by a trainer.