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Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. plans to begin a rehab mission with the Double-A affiliate in San Diego this weekend, Manager Bob Melvin said Friday. Tatis participated in a batting practice with the Padres before Friday night’s game before leaving to join the San Antonio mission.

Tatis, 23, has not played this season after undergoing surgery to repair a broken wrist in March. His original schedule had him away for a maximum of three months, or until June. Major League Baseball rules say a position player can spend up to 20 days in rehab, meaning Tatis should make his season debut before the calendar rolls over to September.

“I don’t think we have a fixed number of batsmen,” Melvin says Timeline for Tatis’s rehabilitation mission. “And, you also want to bring a guy back here who played well. We’re late in the season; it’s not going to be a three-week process to get him back here, so we”””””””””””””””” ”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””” ”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””” ”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””” ”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””” ”””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””””” ””””””t take it day-to-day’ and see how he’s physical and how he’s feel in the plate.

Expect Tatis to see action at the designated hitter and his usual position, at shortstop as well as at midfield. He made 24 outfield appearances last season, and the Padres want him to be somewhat versatile so they can continue to play infielder Ha-Seong Kim. In Tatis’ absence, the steady Kim enjoyed a breakout season in this game, even beating center fielder Trent Grisham with an OPS of over 40 points.

Of course, wherever Tatis plays, he’ll be in a brand new Padres lineup after a week-long trade that adds outfielder Juan Soto, first baseman Josh Bell and infielder Bran Den Drury.

When healthy, Tatis has been one of the best players in the major leagues. In 273 career games, he hit .292/.369/.596 (160 OPS+) with 81 homers and 52 stolen bases. His contribution value is estimated at 13.6 over the bench, according to Baseball Reference calculations.

The Padres enter Saturday with a 61-48 record, trailing their rivals the Los Angeles Dodgers 13 ½ games in the National League West. The Padres are also 1 ½ games behind the Atlanta Braves for top wild-card status in the NL.

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