Early exit 'precautionary' for Fernando Tatis Jr. in San Diego Padres' loss to Chicago Cubs

Star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. exited Tuesday night's 4-3 loss to the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field in the middle of the sixth inning with tightness around his midsection, San Diego Padres manager Jayce Tingler said.

Tatis' exit, Tingler added, was "more precautionary than anything," but Tatis was not in the Padres' starting lineup Wednesday.

Tatis experienced tightness during a swing in the top of the sixth inning in an at-bat that ended with a fly out to left field.

"Strength is pretty good postgame, range of motion is pretty good, so we'll kinda go day-to-day," Tingler said. "Hopefully it's just a bit of tightness in the midsection."

Tatis has missed time twice already this season, first after suffering a subluxation of his left shoulder on April 5 and later after testing positive for COVID-19 on May 10. Since returning from his brief bout with COVID-19, Tatis was 18-for-43 with seven home runs and five doubles, raising his OPS to 1.069. In his absence, Ha-Seong Kim -- batting just .194/.247/.328 this season -- would get the vast majority of playing time at shortstop.

Tingler said he is hopeful that Tatis can avoid another stint on the injured list but cautioned that it's "too early to tell."

"Just seeing Fernando and the trainers, I am pretty optimistic, for sure, just with seeing their reaction postgame and seeing the range of motion and talk about the strength, the tests they did," Tingler said. "I am optimistic that maybe we caught something early, before it got bad. But sometimes you wake up, things are different."