Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. tests positive for COVID-19

USATSI

The San Diego Padres announced on Tuesday they had placed three players on the injured list in accordance with Major League Baseball’s health and safety protocols: shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr., left fielder Jurickson Profar, and utility player Jorge Mateo. Manager Jayce Tingler told reporters that Tatis has tested positive for COVID-19 and the other two players will be sidelined due to contact tracing. Tingler noted Tatis is asymptomatic and feeling well.

Tatis, San Diego’s superstar shortstop, has hit .240/.315/.552 (145 OPS+) in 26 games this season, with nine home runs and seven stolen bases (on eight tries). It’s not immediately clear how many games he’ll miss, but Tatis will have to quarantine for a minimum of 10 days. Tatis also missed time this season in April with a shoulder injury.

Profar, meanwhile, has hit .234/.333/.308 in 128 plate appearances while Mateo has batted .250/.325/.417 in 40 trips to the dish. Profar and Mateo do contribute a great deal of defensive versatility to the San Diego roster: Profar has seen action at four positions this season, Mateo at five.

As it stands, backup catcher Victor Caratini is the only player on San Diego’s bench, suggesting they will call up position players. If the Padres stick to their 40-player roster for their call-ups, then the logical options are outfielder Brian O’Grady, utility infielder Tucupita Marcano, and catcher Luis Campusano — each is stationed at Triple-A El Paso. Otherwise, the Padres may have to make an additional roster move to add depth. 

Coming into play on Tuesday, the Padres have a 19-16 record on the season, good for second place in the National League West. The Padres trail the San Francisco Giants, arguably the most surprising division leader in the sport, by two games. The Padres are scheduled to play three games in Colorado against the Rockies before returning home for a nine-game homestand hosting the St. Louis Cardinals, the Rockies, and the Seattle Mariners.