After an unfortunate incident Motorcycle Accident lost the first half of Fernando Tatís Jr.’s season. From us, many baseball fans were blown away when they saw him back in action. He’s taking the running balls home to the minors and hit die-hard fans with the signature “can’t touch me” attitude that many Padres fans love and many rival fans love to hate. With Juan Soto joining forces with NL MVP candidate Manny Machado in Petco Park, the Padres is establishing itself as a devastating offensive that could vie for the NL crown with divisional rivals, Los Angeles Dodgers. Then this happened.
The long arm of MLB rules has hit Tatís a lot, getting him an 80-game ban for violating the league’s PED policy. It is a typical suspension for a first-time offender. Nothing to see there.
The only question now is how badly this suspension affects the Padres’ World Series chances?
Pretty damn hard if I do say so.
There’s no denying that the Padres will make the playoffs. They’ve established themselves as one of the best teams in the National League all season long despite the absence of Tatís. But when the playoffs roll around, the Padres are going to need Tatís’s powerful bat to keep up with teams like the Dodgers, Braves, and Mets.
While home runs are already responsible for most of the scoring in the regular season, they become all the more important in the playoffs as teams often only throw out their best pitchers. That ability to add to the scoreboard quickly is what makes a team all the more dangerous in October. Tatís is one of the best in the league at hitting dingers. Hell, he led the Senior Circuit in that category last year. The Padres’ current shortstop, Ha-Seong Kim has 6 home runs and a .695 OPS. While that’s still good enough for a 101 OPS-plus, making him an ever so slightly above-average hitter, it’s a far cry from the value that Tatís would bring.
The Padres are just not on the same level as the Dodgers without their star shortstop. They just got swept by the Dodgers for goodness sake and that was after the trades for Soto, Hader, Bell, and Drury.
The Dodgers have more playoff experience, a better group of young stars to add to their 40-man roster down the stretch, and will likely have the better record come the playoffs, giving them a first-round bye, and home-field advantage should these teams meet up in the NLDS or CS.
Tatís would’ve provided a much-needed spark for a team who has gone 2-8 against the Dodgers this year. Sadly, the Dodgers will hold the advantage for the rest of the season. I’m not saying the Padres’ season is over, but the Dodgers hold a massive upper hand now.