ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Mike Clevinger was replaced on San Diego’s playoff roster Wednesday because of his elbow injury, a move that would keep him from pitching again this postseason unless the Padres make it to the World Series.
That would also depend on if his ailing right elbow is healthy enough to get back on the mound in October. The right-hander went only two pitches into the second inning of the NL Division Series opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night.
San Diego made the switch before Game 2 of the NLDS, adding Dan Altavilla to its 28-player roster. The right-hander was immediately available.
Clevinger, who joined San Diego in a nine-player trade with Cleveland on Aug. 31, left his final regular-season start Sept. 23 after one inning because of an elbow impingement. He was left off the roster for the first round against St. Louis.
The Padres didn’t announce until Tuesday, hours before the start of the NLDS, that Clevinger was going to be on the 28-man roster and start Game 1.
Rookie manager Jayce Tingler, speaking to reporters earlier Wednesday before Clevinger was taken off the active roster, said the pitcher had ”a warrior-type attitude and spirit” and wanted to be back on the mound for Game 1 after being cleared by doctors.
”We’re trying to win a championship, he wants to win a championship for the city of San Diego,” Tingler said. ”So when you get clearance, there’s going to be some discomfort, there’s going to be some pain. This thing is not going to be easy, and he knew that.”
Because he was replaced during the NLDS, Clevinger wouldn’t be eligible for the NL Championship Series roster if the Padres advance. He would be able to be on their World Series roster if they make it that far.
The herky-jerky right-hander walked two and threw a wild pitch in a scoreless first inning against the Dodgers. His velocity was noticeably down when he threw two balls to start the second, and he left the game after a visit from Tingler and a trainer.
After the game, Clevinger said he started feeling discomfort facing his second batter of the game. When the first inning ended, he went into the tunnel to try several ways to loosen up the elbow in what became an extended time as the Padres loaded the bases without scoring.
San Diego is also without Dinelson Lamet, its other top starter. The right-hander left his final start of the regular season Sept. 25 because of biceps tightness and has been left off the active roster for both postseason series so far.
In the wild-card round against St. Louis, the Padres became the first team to use at least eight pitchers in three consecutive playoff games. They used eight relievers after Clevinger excited the NLDS opener, making it the third time in four games to match the postseason record of using nine pitchers in a nine-inning game.
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