Fernando Tatis Jr. is having a remarkable season that has him pegged as the frontrunner for MVP in the National League. That success has come despite the fact that the San Diego Padres' super star has missed 32 games, most of which have been due to a nagging left shoulder injury. Apparently Tatis is against getting surgery to fix the problem.
Tatis suffered a subluxation of his non-throwing shoulder in spring training and has been forced to leave in the middle of several games since re-injuring it. That happened simply by swinging a bat back in April and it looked terrible. The 22-year-old almost certainly has a torn labrum, though we can't know the full extent of the damage. Virtually every expert has said he'll need surgery to fix the issue, or it will keep recurring.
On Tuesday during an interview, Tatis claimed he has ruled out surgery to fix the issue, claiming that he had taken great care of his body and that it has paid off.
I get that he's been brilliant this season, but there is no way Tatis can continue like this without getting fully healthy. He's going to keep re-injuring it over and over again unless he gets surgery to fix the problem. Recovery for that kind of surgery could take four to eight months (that's on the extreme long side), but it will be worth it in the end if he can wind up playing 150-plus games a season instead of missing huge chunks of it.
As stated, Tatis has been brilliant this year. He leads MLB in slugging percentage by nearly 30 points (.635), leads the NL in OPS (1.001) and home runs (37), is third in runs (89), second in stolen bases (24) and is hitting .280. He also leads the majors in offensive WAR (6.5), adjusted OPS+ (174), at bats per home run (10.4), and his fWAR (5.2) is tied for the best among NL hitters.
It makes sense to hold off on surgery until the season is done, but once the Padres are eliminated, he should go under the knife and get the shoulder fixed. The franchise will have to sit him down and convince him to get it done.