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#pounditSunday, May 22, 2022

Fernando Tatis Jr.

Video: Manny Machado confronts Fernando Tatis Jr. in Padres dugout

Manny Machado Fernando Tatis

Manny Machado confronted Fernando Tatis Jr. in the dugout during the fifth inning of their San Diego Padres’ 3-2 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday.

Tatis struck out looking to start the top of the fifth with his team leading 2-0. He was upset with the strike three call and complained about it. Padres manager Jayce Tingler argued about the call and was ejected.

Prior to taking the field for the bottom of the fifth, Machado confronted his teammate in the dugout to tell him to stop complaining and focus on playing. Why? He knew the Padres couldn’t afford to have their best player ejected or moping.

Here is what the argument looked like. Beware, there is some cussing:

Absent context, the video makes Machado look bad. But he was showing good leadership by stepping in and trying to get Tatis to focus and level out his head.

Keep in mind what’s going on with the Padres. They had a strong first half and were 16 games above .500 at one point. They have started to fade though since mid-August and are 2.5 games back of the second wild-card spot. Their collapse has been a sore spot for a month, so it’s no surprise to see heated emotions in the dugout.

Machado has a negative reputation and brought a lot of it upon himself. However, he seems to have matured in San Diego and was showing leadership in this situation.

Fernando Tatis Jr. could return to shortstop for Padres

Fernando Tatis Jr

San Diego Padres superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. has had multiple stints on the injured list this season as the result of a shoulder injury, which also led to his move from shortstop to the outfield. The team, understandably, is doing everything in their power to keep their best player healthy.

But things change on a dime in Major League Baseball and on Friday night, Tatis’ temporary replacement at shortstop, Jake Cronenworth, suffered a small finger fracture and his immediate future is uncertain.

Asked about potentially moving Tatis back to shortstop for the time being, Padres manager Jayce Tingler said very simply, “everything’s on the table.”

Tatis, who has looked solid in the outfield, never closed the door on returning to shortstop.

“I will play shortstop again. Playing in the outfield is temporary. I am ruling out having surgery on my shoulder. I have taken great care of my body and that has paid off,” Tatis told Yancen Pujoles earlier this week.

This is obviously a less than ideal situation for San Diego and will requiring some juggling to get through if Cronenworth misses any length of time.

Byron Buxton has funny comment about his son’s favorite player

Byron Buxton

Minnesota Twins outfielder Byron Buxton has had a lot of downtime lately while on the IL, and he spent it coming to grips with his son’s new favorite player.

Buxton was activated by the Twins on Friday after over two months out with a broken finger. The outfielder said he spent a lot of his spare time watching baseball with his son. Like most kids, Buxton’s son has a favorite player — and it’s not his father.

This shouldn’t come as a surprise. Tatis Jr. is a favorite of a lot of kids, including those with All-Star dads.

Buxton has been incredibly hot when on the field in 2021, hitting .369 with 10 home runs in 110 plate appearances. If he can stay healthy and keep up that pace, maybe he still has a shot to supplant Tatis as his son’s favorite player.

Video: Fernando Tatis Jr. hits tying home run somehow past Chris Taylor

Fernando Tatis Chris Taylor

Fernando Tatis Jr. turned the San Diego Padres-Los Angeles Dodgers game into the gift that keeps on giving.

The Padres and Dodgers entered extra innings on Wednesday night tied at 1. They remained tied until the top of the 15th, when the Dodgers scored two runs. First it was Billy McKinney with an RBI single to make it 2-1, and then Trea Turner delivered a run-scoring hit to make it 3-1.

Just when you thought the game might finally end, Tatis changed everything.

The Padres stud, who was previously 0-for-6 in the game with four strikeouts, took Corey Knebel deep to the opposite field. Oddly, it looked like Chris Taylor was tracking the ball for a catch but somehow missed it. The ball bounced over the wall for a tying 2-run home run.

Yes, and that’s how the game continued five hours after it began. Despite Tatis’ heroics, the Dodgers retook the lead in the top of the 16th.

The Padres are fighting to make the playoffs after looking like a lock for the postseason a month ago. This is the type of game they need.

Fernando Tatis Jr. ready to play outfield for Padres if asked

Fernando Tatis Jr

Fernando Tatis Jr.’s injury issues appear to be enough to prompt the San Diego Padres to consider a temporary position change. Tatis sounds willing to embrace it, too.

The Padres have had Tatis working in the outfield as he works his way back from a shoulder issue, rather than his usual shortstop. On Wednesday, Tatis said he would “probably” play shortstop when he returns, but signaled his willingness to test himself in the outfield if that’s what the team wants him to do.

Tatis said he found the outfield “fun” and liked the thought of “being able to go full speed for a ball, show my speed.” He also said he believed he could avoid the sort of all-out play that could aggravate his shoulder issue once more before the season ends.

“I can hold myself accountable to not crash against the wall,” Tatis said, via Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. “A couple other plays, I can hold myself. We’ll see.”

Tatis’ shoulder will require surgery, which he has been putting off in the hope of finishing the season. So far, he’s responded remarkably well to rehab. The Padres are considering the move to the outfield because they hope it would reduce the need for Tatis to dive aggressively for balls. Plus, moving him to the outfield would help alleviate the infield logjam the Padres have been dealing with since acquiring All-Star second baseman Adam Frazier at the trade deadline.

Padres have encouraging update about Fernando Tatis Jr.

Fernando Tatis Jr

There were some fears that season-ending shoulder surgery might be on the table for Fernando Tatis Jr. It sounds like that’s no longer the case, and not only that, but the San Diego Padres shortstop might be ready to play again sooner rather than later.

Padres manager Jayce Tingler said Friday that Tatis has been showing “significant improvements” as he rehabs his injured shoulder. Tingler added that Tatis is progressing toward hitting on the field.

Tatis has dealt with multiple shoulder injuries, and this is the third partial dislocation of it he’s suffered in 2021. Despite this, he hasn’t missed significant time at any point. This certainly looked like it might be different, but the Padres have, at least publicly, expressed optimism all along.

Tatis Jr. is hitting .292 with 31 home runs and 23 stolen bases, and had emerged as an NL MVP candidate before this latest injury. The Padres, who have fallen 7.5 games back in the NL West, need him healthy to continue a playoff push.

Padres hopeful Fernando Tatis Jr. will only miss ten days with shoulder injury

Fernando Tatis Jr

The San Diego Padres will be without Fernando Tatis Jr. for at least ten days, but there is hope it won’t be any longer than that.

Tatis Jr. left Friday’s game against the Colorado Rockies after injuring his shoulder while sliding into third base. It was the third time Tatis Jr. has injured his shoulder this season.

The Padres placed Tatis Jr. on the IL Saturday, but there was optimism that the star shortstop would be able to return when eligible.

Tatis’ aggressive playing style has led to issues with this all season. He initially hurt his shoulder from swinging too hard, but that injury only cost him ten days. At the time, Tatis said he wanted to adapt his playing style to prevent injury, but there’s only so much he can do in certain situations.

Fernando Tatis Jr. explains why he opened dugout for fans during shooting

Fans Padres dugout

Fernando Tatis Jr. and his teammates acted quickly Saturday night to try to protect fans following a shooting that took place outside Nationals Park. On Sunday, he explained what went through his mind as he acted the way he did.

Reports emerged following the incident that in the moments following the shooting, Tatis and Manny Machado were among those directing fans into the dugout to seek safety after shots were heard nearby. Tatis said Sunday that he was protecting family, particularly young children that he saw in the vicinity.

Tatis wouldn’t have known what kind of danger he or anyone else was in at the time. His quick thinking, and that of his teammates, should be commended.

Three people were wounded in the shooting that took place outside near one of the stadium’s gates. Police said none of the injuries were believed to be life-threatening. The game was suspended after the shooting took place, and is set to be completed Sunday.

Manny Machado, Fernando Tatis Jr. opened dugout so fans could escape shooting

Fans Padres dugout

Manny Machado and a few other San Diego Padres players are being credited with a heroic move following a shooting that took place outside Nationals Park on Saturday night.

Gunfire was heard outside Nationals Park during the middle of the sixth inning of Saturday’s game, leading to a scary and confusing situation for those in attendance. The Nationals relayed a few messages to the fans in attendance, telling them to exit the stadium through the outfield. Police apparently closed gates from the stands to the field.

But according to a woman in attendance, Padres players opened the gate by their dugout so some fans could take cover in a safe place. She says Manny Machado, Wil Myers and Fernando Tatis Jr. came out to direct fans to the dugout.

Videos and photos show fans in the dugout.

The game was suspended and is expected to be completed on Sunday.

DC Police said two were shot in the incident and two additional victims went to a hospital for treatment.

Freddie Freeman’s son put his dad on hot seat over Fernando Tatis Jr. meeting

Freddie Freeman

Freddie Freeman’s son Charlie is a huge Fernando Tatis Jr. fan. This week at the MLB All-Star Game festivities, Charlie was looking all over the place for Tatis. He finally got a chance to meet the San Diego Padres star and was elated.

The thing is, the meeting wouldn’t have been possible without his dad making the NL All-Star team. In fact, Freddie says he was taking some heat from his son to improve his play to ensure an invite to the All-Star Game. Why? All so Charlie could meet Tatis Jr.

Freddie told the story on MLB Network Tuesday.

“Two months ago I’m hitting .220. And Charlie goes, ‘Daddy, I’m going to need you to start playing better so I can go to the All-Star Game and meet Fernando,'” Freeman said.

Freeman has picked it up since then. He entered the All-Star break batting .274 with 19 home runs, 58 runs scored and 50 RBIs. He earned his trip to the All-Star Game … much to his son’s delight.