San Diego Padres right-hander Mike Clevinger will not pitch in the wild-card round, and he could miss the remainder of the postseason with an arm injury that did not resolve during a bullpen session Tuesday, sources told ESPN.
Clevinger is not the only Padres starter with an injury. Dinelson Lamet, who finished the season with a 2.09 ERA and was expected to be their No. 2 starter, is also out for the three-game, opening-round series against the St. Louis Cardinals. He has a biceps injury.
San Diego named Chris Paddack its Game 1 starter in lieu of Clevinger. Padres general manager A.J. Preller announced Wednesday that Zach Davies will be the Game 2 starter, and if there's a Game 3 it will be "all hands on deck." Right-hander Garrett Richards and left-hander Adrian Morejon also have started games for the Padres this year.
The Padres acquired Clevinger, 29, from the Cleveland Indians at the trade deadline and expected him to lead their playoff rotation. Clevinger left a Sept. 23 start after one inning, and while he has attempted to throw in the week since, concerns about his short- and long-term health persist, according to sources.
Rotation depth, while not vital in the wild-card round, will become paramount in the division series and championship series, during which there will be no off days.
The Padres acquired Clevinger, outfielder Greg Allen and a player to be named for a six-player package. Clevinger had fallen out of favor with the Indians after he and teammate Zach Plesac broke curfew during a trip in Chicago. Teammates accused Clevinger of lying to them and they criticized him during a meeting, following which he and Plesac were demoted.
Beyond this year, the concerns about Clevinger's arm are acute. He has two years before he reaches free agency, and the Padres spent significant prospect capital at the deadline in hopes of him anchoring the rotation over the next few years as they try to capture the franchise's first championship.