Clevinger Taken Off Padres Roster
San Diego Padres starter Mike Clevinger has been removed from the team’s National League Division Series roster due to an elbow injury.
Right-hander Dan Altavilla was added to the 28-man roster prior to the start of Game 2 of the NLDS.
Clevinger was brought over in a trade with the Cleveland Indians prior to the trade deadline, and the Padres were hoping that his pitching could carry them on a deep postseason run. A nagging elbow injury did not allow Clevinger to pitch in the Wild Card series, but he was back on the mound for Game 1 of the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
After getting through the first inning without a problem, Clevinger made it just two pitches into the second inning before being removed from the game. Velocity saw a significant drop from the first inning to the second, prompting the team to replace him on the mound.
Clevinger initially felt some discomfort in his right pitching elbow on Sept. 23 in what was his final regular-season start. The right-hander made it just one inning in that game, and he was still experiencing discomfort as the postseason began.
Team doctors cleared Clevinger prior to the start of the National League Division Series, which prompted manager Jace Tingler to send him out there for Game 1. The team was expected to monitor his pitch count as the game wore on, but he was forced to leave the game before it got to that point.
Now that Clevinger has been removed from the NLDS roster, he would not be able to rejoin the team until the World Series, assuming the Padres are able to make it that far. Entering play on Thursday night, the Padres trailed the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-0 in the best-of-five series.
The Padres are still without their other top starter, right-hander Dinelson Lamet, who was left off the postseason roster after experiencing biceps tightness. San Diego became the first team in MLB history to use at least eight pitchers in three straight postseason games in the Wild Card series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Dodgers Evaluating Closer Position
The other team in the series, the Los Angeles Dodgers, is also dealing with an issue on the pitching staff. For the Dodgers, the problem is coming at the backend of ball games.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts acknowledged on Wednesday night that the team is re-evaluating the closer role after Kenley Jansen struggled again in Game 2 of the NLDS. Joe Kelly ended up recording the save in the 6-5 victory after Jansen struggled mightily.
Jansen entered the ninth inning with a 6-3 lead but managed to give up two runs while recording a pair of outs. Roberts came out to the mound to relieve his longtime closer, and it was Kelly that got out of the jam to preserve the victory for Los Angeles.
Jansen has been the closer in Los Angeles since 2012 but has struggled at times over the last two seasons. His fastball topped out at just 90 mph on Wednesday night after averaging between 93 and 94 mph during the regular season.
It has been an interesting start to the return of baseball with games being delayed and re-scheduled all over.