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Report: Tatis enthusiastic about potential move to outfield

Denis Poroy / Getty Images Sport / Getty

San Diego Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. responded enthusiastically about moving to the outfield for the remainder of the season, multiple people with the team told The Athletic's Dennis Lin.

The Padres reportedly approached Tatis regarding the position change to preserve the star infielder's health. The 22-year-old has dealt with shoulder issues throughout the season, most recently suffering a partial separation on July 30. He also missed time this campaign due to oblique tightness.

Tatis recently started taking fly balls in the outfield, fueling speculation that he'll return to San Diego at a new position. He's at a greater risk of reinjuring his shoulder in the infield, where he's forced to react to balls quicker and go to the ground more frequently.

"If potentially that is the best way to get him back to play this year, it's something we're serious about exploring and looking into," manager Jayce Tingler said.

Jake Cronenworth has taken over at shortstop during Tatis' latest injury stint. Ha-Seong Kim has also seen time at the position, but he's less of an offensive force than Cronenworth.

The Padres have gotten decent production from their outfielders this year. However, neither Tommy Pham, Trent Grisham, or Wil Myers have an OPS above .807.

Tatis has posted MVP-level numbers when he's been healthy this season, slashing .292/.373/.651 with 31 homers, 70 RBIs, and 23 stolen bases.

San Diego is seven games back of the NL-West leading San Francisco Giants but has a 4.5-game lead on the Cincinnati Reds for the National League's second wild-card spot.

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