MLB

Padres' Tatis returns for Dodgers showdown

By Sports Desk April 16, 2021

San Diego Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. has been cleared to face World Series champions the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Tatis had been on the injured list with a subluxation of his left shoulder suffered on April 5, but the Padres activated the shortstop for Friday's blockbuster opener against the Dodgers.

The 22-year-old – who signed an eye-popping 14-year, $340million contract extension with the Padres before the start of the season – will start second in the line-up, behind lead-off team-mate Trent Grisham as the National League (NL) West rivals go head-to-head.

"He's a game-changing player, as I'm sure you all know," Grisham said. "We're excited to have him back.

"He's very dynamic, and he's very excited to get back. We're pumped to have him in the line-up."

Tatis won a Silver Slugger award last season, having hit .277 with 17 home runs and 45 RBIs in the coronavirus-shortened 2020 campaign.

He is the first player in MLB history to have at least 35 home runs and 25 stolen bases within the first 150 games of his career.

Tatis packs a punch with the bat – he led the majors in average exit velocity (95.9 mph), hard hit percentage (62.2), and balls hit 95-plus MPH (102) last season.

The Padres (9-5) are third in the NL West, behind red-hot leaders the Dodgers (11-2) – who have won six straight games.

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