Fernando Tatis Jr. Return Date Now Set

The San Diego Padres had a decent run in the postseason, going farther than most observers felt they could once superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. was suspended in August for PED use for 80 games including any playoff contests. 

The 12-game postseason run for the Padres not only rejuvenated the fanbase, but also had the bonus effect of moving up the timeline for Tatis's return to active duty in 2023.

Tatis served 48 games of his suspension through the remainder of the 2022 regular season, and then another dozen from the Padres' playoff run. That leaves just 20 games remaining for the 23-year-old to sit out before debuting on April 20th, 2023.

There are two ways to look at all of this: (1) how much more of a chance would the Padres have had to extend their playoff run with Tatis Jr.'s much-needed bat in the lineup if he hadn't been suspended in the first place? 

(2) He's going to be extra-motivated next season to prove all his bashers wrong.

Tatis will join Juan Soto and Manny Machado in a potentially unrivalled 'Big Three' in the batting order. And feeding off of this season's success, the team could ascend to new heights.  

We learned last week that Tatis underwent another surgery, and will have a clean bill of health for spring training. 

Things are looking up for the Padres: In addition to their Big Three in the lineup, they've also still got their Big Three in the rotation (Joe Musgrove, Yu Darvish, Blake Snell), and the knowledge that they just knocked off the 101-win New York Mets and 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers in the playoffs. 

2023 can't come soon enough in "America's Finest City."

Photo: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports