SEPT. 25: Clevinger doesn’t have any UCL damage, per Robert Murray. Rather, he has been been diagnosed with a right elbow posterior impingement has received a cortisone shot, Cassavell tweets. The Padres haven’t given up on a wild-card return for Clevinger, according to manager Jayce Tingler (via Cassavell). “We’re optimistic that he will be able to pitch going forward,” said Tingler.
SEPT. 24: Clevinger has a sprained elbow, and the Padres won’t know until Sunday or perhaps at the beginning of next week whether he’ll be able to resume throwing this season, according to Acee. The likelihood is that Clevinger will at least miss the wild-card round, Jon Heyman of MLB Network tweets.
SEPT. 23, 5:56pm: The Padres are worried they’ll lose Clevinger for the playoffs because of a muscle strain or tendonitis, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. He’s scheduled to undergo an MRI.
4:18pm: Padres right-hander Mike Clevinger threw a 1-2-3 first inning with two strikeouts against the Angels on Wednesday, but he departed after that for an undisclosed reason. The Padres were not planning on pulling Clevinger that soon in the game, AJ Cassavell of MLB.com tweets.
It’s worth noting that Clevinger had his previous start last Saturday pushed back because of bicep tightness, so this situation could be especially alarming news for the playoff-bound Padres. San Diego sent a haul to Cleveland for Clevinger at the Aug. 31 trade deadline, and the 29-year-old has since been highly effective over three starts. As a member of the Padres, Clevinger owns a 3.00 ERA with 17 strikeouts and three walks across 18 innings.
Based on what he has done as a Padre (not to mention his performance with the Indians over the past couple seasons), Clevinger could be a major difference maker in the playoffs for San Diego. The Padres do boast two other front-end starters in Dinelson Lamet and Zach Davies, while Chris Paddack and Garrett Richards offer another pair of proven options, but they won’t be at their best if they have to enter the postseason without Clevinger.