San Diego Padres Cannot Let Frustration Derail Their Season

AUGUST 28: Fernando Tatis Jr. #42 and Jake Cronenworth #42 of the San Diego Padres celebrate after a 10-4 win over the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on August 28, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
AUGUST 28: Fernando Tatis Jr. #42 and Jake Cronenworth #42 of the San Diego Padres celebrate after a 10-4 win over the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on August 28, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day. The day honoring Jackie Robinson, traditionally held on April 15, was rescheduled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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The sports definition of frustration pertains to the feeling of disappointment because of the inability to achieve your goal. Being in this state of mind has lead the San Diego Padres to be inconsistent with their play of late. There is no explanation for this to occur, but it has coincided with the absence of Fernando Tatis Jr. from the lineup.

The frustration centers on how Tatis Jr.’s shoulder injury took place. He did not land awkwardly that causes a slight separation of the shoulder. Instead, Tatis Jr. was brought to his knees following a normal swing at the plate during an April 5 game against the San Francisco Giants. And there is no rhyme or reason to when the injury occurs. Shoulder discomfort could happen on a swing, a dive in the hole to field a ball or a slide into a base.

Doubts Have Risen in Tatis Jr. Returning to San Diego Padres For a Third Time

It has been unfathomable to comprehend how Tatis Jr. has recovered time and time again from this injury. But a third time might not be the charm as he is heading down a path to offseason surgery. Of course, Tatis Jr.’s long-term health must be taken into consideration when determining if he will play again in 2021.

More Padres. A potential gamble with Tatis. light

Yes, Padres manager Jayce Tingler, speaking with reporters, did indicate that season-ending shoulder surgery is an option on the table moving forward. But that has been the prognosis since the injury first occurred in early April. Still, it must be frustrating for Tatis Jr. to be sitting and not be able to help the Friars win more consistently.

No one should rule out him making one last attempt to play again this season. The hope is the swelling subsides enough over the next 10 days to give Tatis Jr. a chance. If he can move his arm more freely and make the necessary plays either at short or in the outfield, then Tatis Jr. will give it one more shot. Until further notice, the Padres must play under the assumption that their All-Star shortstop will be activated off the IL list later this month.

Tatis Jr. is Not an MVP Candidate Any Longer

Another factor in everyone’s frustration level is Tatis Jr. was having the best season of his short major league career. In 87 games, he is batting .292 with 31 HRs and 70 RBIs. Now, the thought of him contending for the National League MVP is likely over given the number of games missed this season. However, personal goals become secondary in August and September.

Still, the goal is to play into October and if Tatis Jr. could return to the Padres lineup by the middle of August, then everyone’s anxiety level would lessen. This timeframe would allow him to build up enough strength for the stretch run. Plus, Tatis Jr.’s presence will curtail the Padres’ recent slide into oblivion.

Injuries Have Been a Constant Theme for San Diego Padres

Injuries have been a constant theme to the Padres 2021 season. Already, they have lost significant (Mike Clevinger and Adrian Morejon) parts to their starting rotation and still waiting on the return of Dinelson Lamet. Unfortunately, setbacks with his rehabilitation have made Lamet a bullpen option for the remainder of the season.

That being said, the Padres have pieces in place (Manny Machado, Jake Cronenworth, Eric Hosmer, and Wil Myers) in their lineup to keep them afloat in his absence. It is time for everyone to step up and begin to play to their potential. The results do not have to be great, but effective enough to give the team a chance to win.

It has been a season of mixed emotions as the Padres have failed to replicate the anticipation from their big offseason moves. But that task would have been difficult to duplicate even with a healthy Tatis Jr. in the lineup.

Next. Paddack not profiling as a starter. dark

It has been very frustrating to witness the number of injuries sustained this season. Hopefully, these are the bumps and setbacks that become a valuable lesson for an October to remember.