It’s possible Dinelson Lamet or Mike Clevinger could start Game 1 of the Padres’ series against the Cardinals on Wednesday, Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports. It’s fantastic news for the Padres, who saw Lamet go down with right biceps tightness last Friday, while Clevinger suffered a sprained right elbow last Wednesday. At least in Clevinger’s case, it initially didn’t seem he would be ready for the start of the playoffs, but it now looks as if the Padres’ top starters (along with Zach Davies) will be ready when they begin their first postseason series since 2006.
- The Mariners will enter the upcoming offseason with a focus on upgrading their bullpen, per general manager Jerry Dipoto (via Greg Johns of MLB.com). Seattle would “like to add three or four guys down there that can stabilize that group and give us some certainty as we move toward the end of a game,” acccording to Dipoto. The Mariners, who finished with a 27-33 record, kept their long-running playoff drought going this year thanks in part to a weak relief corps that finished last in the AL in ERA (5.92).
- Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson (calf) and center fielder Byron Buxton (concussion) had “a relatively good day” Monday, according to manager Rocco Baldelli (via Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer Press). Donaldson battled calf problems in the past, but that didn’t stop the Twins from signing him to a four-year, $92MM contract in the offseason. Further calf troubles have held Donaldson to 28 games this year, though, and he hasn’t played since Sept. 25. Buxton, who also has a history of injuries, only played in 39 regular-season games. However, even without full campaigns from either of those two, the Twins won 36 games en route to a second straight AL Central title. They should be even stronger if the two are ready for playoff action.
- White Sox left fielder Eloy Jimenez expects to be available for the team’s Game 1 playoff showdown in Oakland on Tuesday, Scott Merkin of MLB.com was among those to tweet. Jimenez hasn’t played since Sept. 24 because of a mid-foot sprain, but when he was able to take the field, he was one of Chicago’s most valuable hitters. As a .296/.332/.559 hitter in 226 plate appearances, the 23-year-old Jimenez helped the White Sox to their first playoff berth since 2008.