With roughly two and a half weeks to go until the San Diego Padres begin their 2021 season, the roster is starting to take shape.
This past week in Padres’ camp had many noteworthy moments, none more so than Sunday’s news from manager Jayce Tingler that catcher Austin Nola would be sidelined with a fracture in his left middle finger.
During Saturday’s 6-3 loss to the Diamondbacks, the injury occurred, though he would end up finishing out the ball game.
No timetable was offered for Nola’s return to the lineup, with Tingler mentioning that the catcher would be re-evaluated later in the week.
Nola’s injury followed a string of injuries this past week for San Diego. On Thursday, center fielder Trent Grisham was pulled from a 5-4 win against the Cleveland Indians due to what was later diagnosed as a grade 1 hamstring strain.
Tingler was able to provide a timetable for Grisham, estimating about a week for Grisham’s absence. Recent reports have been positive for Grisham, so it will be important to keep an eye on the Gold Glover’s continued recovery.
Right Fielder Wil Myers was scratched from Saturday’s lineup with right knee soreness, while few other updates were given.
In positive injury news, Fernando Tatis Jr. returned to shortstop for the Padres after missing some time due to a non-Covid related sickness. Tatis wasted no time getting back into the swing of things, producing highlight-worthy moments in his first two games back.
Friday, in his first game back, Tatis hit a long home run to right field to lead off the game, making an immediate impact for the Padres.
On Saturday, Tatis hit an infield single to start the game . Following the single, Tatis made an extremely athletic baserunning move that saw him go from first to third on a ground out to second base. With Tatis on third and one out, he made another highlight for the Padres by tagging up and scoring on a shallow pop-up to the shortstop that most players wouldn’t have even thought to go on.
Tatis would be pulled from Saturday’s game for precautionary reasons, though not much concern seems to be felt by the team.
20-year old outfield prospect Josh Mears made his name known to Padres’ fans after blasting a 117 mph laser to left field in Wednesday’s 7-5 loss to the Rockies. Mears is not expected to make the big league club out of camp, but he certainly opened some eyes with his power on Wednesday.
Rookie CJ Abrams has certainly held his own in big league camp so far this Spring. In Friday’s 5-4 loss to the Oakland A’s, Abrams hit his first home run of the Spring. The three-run shot was another impressive moment for the young shortstop who will likely start the season in the minors.
Injuries were a major theme this past week for the Padres in Peoria, leaving the club in a position to monitor different roster scenarios a bit differently in the coming weeks.