Clevinger, 31, was set to start the final game of the season but was scratched due to this illness. Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the team is still awaiting the results of a COVID test and also relays that Clevinger has been dealing with some knee soreness lately. He missed time earlier this year due to a knee sprain.
The timing of the ailment is significant, as the Padres have clinched a playoff spot and will begin a best-of-three Wild Card series against the Mets on Friday. Clevinger likely wouldn’t have earned a start in that series, with Yu Darvish, Blake Snell and Joe Musgrove the probables for those three contests. However, if the Friars can survive into the NLDS and beyond, they will likely need a fourth starter at some point. If Clevinger is not 100%, it’s possible that Sean Manaea might get the gig instead.
Clevinger missed all of 2021 while recovering from Tommy John surgery and has returned to throw 114 1/3 innings here in 2022. He has a 4.33 ERA, 18.8% strikeout rate, 7.2% walk rate and 35.2% ground ball rate. He’ll be a free agent at season’s end.