I don’t even know how to begin properly describing and analyzing the news tonight. This is … major. And weird. And impactful.
Per multiple reports, San Diego Padres superstar Fernando Tatis Jr., who had missed the whole season after suffering an offseason wrist injury stemming from multiple motorcycle accidents, and who was JUST on the verge of finally returning, has now been suspended 80 games for violating MLB’s policy against performance enhancing drugs.
The suspension, which comes without pay, was for testing positive for Clostebol, which is apparently a synthetic anabolic steroid.
Tatis, 23, signed a 14-year, $340 million contract in advance of the 2021 season and has played just 130 games since. He dealt with shoulder issues last year, the wrist injury this year, and now the PED suspension. This is a fiasco of the highest order, especially given the Padres’ substantial investment in a roster around Tatis to try to win immediately. The Juan Soto trade. I’m not saying the Padres don’t make that move if they know Tatis wouldn’t be back this year and would have questions about his performance swirling in the future, but maybe they think more carefully about it?
Now we await Tatis’ inevitable statement, as well as one from the Padres about the whole situation. This is just so shocking, disappointing, and, like I said, impactful. Not just for this season – the Padres are 16.0 games back in the NL West, yes, but they currently hold the final Wild Card spot – but for many seasons to come. This is a lot of missed time for Tatis, and now this cloud? Who knows where things go from here.
UPDATE: The Padres have issued a statement, and they aren’t really mincing words:
We were surprised and extremely disappointed to learn today that Fernando Tatis Jr. tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance in violation of Major League Baseball’s Joint Prevention and Treatment Program and subsequently received an 80-game suspension without pay. We fully support the Program and are hopeful that Fernando will learn from this experience.
UPDATE 2: As you may have expected, Tatis claims this was an inadvertent positive, as he was taking a medication for ringworm that apparently included Clostebol:
The Googles don’t seem to have much out there on Clostebol and ringworm, but I am not a doctor or a ringworm-sufferer.
UPDATE 3: Wow. This is quite a quote from Padres President of Baseball Operations AJ Preller: