Fernando Tatis Jr. criticized by 2 notable teammates over PED suspension
Fernando Tatis Jr. may have to win back the trust and respect of a few of his more prominent San Diego Padres teammates after the 23-year-old was suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs.
The MLB commissioner’s office announced on Friday that Tatis would be suspended after testing positive for Clostebol, a banned anabolic steroid. His suspension will last through the remainder of the 2022 season and into part of the 2023 campaign.
After the Padres’ 10-5 win against the Washington Nationals on Friday, starting pitcher Mike Clevinger called out Tatis’ lack of maturity this season.
“This is the second time we’ve been very disappointed with him,” Clevinger told reporters. “You hope he grows up and learns from this and learns that it’s about more than just him right now. It would be nice to have somebody else, but we don’t need anybody else. We’ve got everyone we need right here.”
Third baseman and potential National League MVP Manny Machado echoed similar sentiments about how the Padres would be fine without Tatis.
“He hasn’t been part of the team all year,” Machado said. “We’ve gotten to this point so far without him. We were waiting to get him back and hopefully be a spark plug for the team.”
Clevinger: “You hope he grows up”
Machado: “We’ve gotten to this point without him” pic.twitter.com/8EH30Mr3JU
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) August 13, 2022
The first instance of disappointment this season that Clevinger was referring to was Tatis’ offseason wrist injury caused by a motorcyle accident. The injury required surgery and had kept Tatis off the field up until his suspension was announced.
Others in the Padres organization shared their displeasure over Tatis’ suspension and apparent lack of maturity, including GM AJ Preller.
While the Padres have managed to stay in a playoff spot for most of the season, Tatis’ presence in the lineup would have provided a big boost to San Diego’s World Series aspirations. He led the N.L. with 42 home runs in 2021, and has a career .596 slugging percentage and .965 OPS.