Padres ace Mike Clevinger pulled after just one inning in start against Angels
Clevinger retired the side with a pair of strikeouts in the top of the first inning and was subsequently pulled from the game (per MLB Network’s Jon Heyman).
Mike Clevinger, who had start pushed back due to bicep tightness, left after 1 inning this afternoon. It was a 1-2-3 inning with 2 K’s but this has to cause some concern.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) September 23, 2020
On the one hand, this could just be a precaution from Clevinger and the Padres in the event he felt some discomfort.
But bicep tightness can sometimes be suggestive of elbow issues, which would be far more concerning.
The Padres cannot afford Clevinger to hit the injured list. They entered Wednesday’a matchup with the Angels 5.0 games back of the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West, and it was unlikely they were going to catch the Dodgers.
However, San Diego could be down one of its best pitchers heading into an October. This is especially crucial considering the modified 2020 playoffs feature a best-of-three Wild Card series.
Clevinger had been solid in a Padres uniform after San Diego acquired him prior to the trade deadline at the end of August. The 29-year-old had a 3.00 ERA and 0.94 WHIP in his first three starts for the Friars. Clevinger also boasted a 2.51 fielding independent pitching (FIP).
It remains to be seen exactly what Clevinger’s issue is, and whether the injury will actually require an IL stint or not.
Regardless, this is awful timing for an upstart Padres team that surely hoped the Clevinger–Dinelson Lamet duo would anchor the rotation in the Wild Card round.