Padres star Fernando Tatís Jr. has decided to forego surgery on his left shoulder, reports Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune. There had been some speculation both inside and outside the organization he’d need to go under the knife this winter to correct the issue that plagued him a few times throughout the season, but that apparently won’t be the case. He’ll instead pursue non-surgical means of strengthening the area over the winter in an effort to stay healthy.
Tatís had two separate IL stints for shoulder issues this past season, missing the minimal 10 days in April and another couple of weeks in August. In both instances, he suffered the injury on basic baseball activities — his first occurring on a swing, his second sliding into a base. Both injuries initially seemed to have the potential for extended absences, but Tatís returned in relatively short order each time.
When Tatís was healthy enough to play, he didn’t seem any worse for wear at the plate. Over 546 plate appearances, the 22-year-old hit a massive .282/.364/.611 with 42 home runs. By measure of wRC+, his offensive output was 56 percentage points above league average, a mark topped only by Bryce Harper, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Juan Soto among those with 500+ trips to the plate.
The shoulder problems did have a significant impact defensively, as the Padres slid Tatís off shortstop into the outfield for a good portion of the stretch run. The move was made primarily to reduce the potential that he would reaggravate the injury, but Tatís mostly returned to shortstop for the season’s final three weeks. There’s no doubt about his position from this point on, as the All-Star has already gone on record about his adamance about sticking at shortstop in 2022 and beyond.