The San Diego Padres have, on paper, an impressive rotation: Yu Darvish, Blake Snell, Joe Musgrove, Sean Manaea, and Mike Clevinger should be the top five pitchers if everyone is healthy.
The five pitchers were acquired via trade within the last couple of years, as a fun fact.
Clevinger, however, is currently on the shelf, as he recovers from a knee injury.
“Bob Melvin said Mike Clevinger won’t throw off a mound until his knee is feeling better,” Padres reporter Matt Skraby tweeted on Monday.
Bob Melvin said Mike Clevinger won’t throw off a mound until his knee is feeling better. #Padres pic.twitter.com/0JVE28PNDe
— Matt Skraby (@MattSkraby) April 4, 2022
Thankfully for the Padres, there is no indication from any source that Clevinger’s knee issue is significant, and the discomfort should go away in a few days.
Clevinger Will Likely Start The Season On The Injured List
He will likely open the regular season on the 10-day injured list, however, as he gets some days to heal his knee and then to start a ramp-up process in a low-stress environment: the minor leagues.
The most likely scenario is that we see Clevinger return to the Padres’ rotation in late April.
The 31-year-old right-hander had to be scratched off a weekend start because of the knee soreness.
Clevinger came via trade from the Cleveland Guardians in 2020, but was just able to make four appearances before injuring his elbow, undergoing Tommy John surgery, and missing the entire 2021 campaign.
His arm is ready to go, and the Padres will need him to be at his best if they are going to challenge the mighty Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants in the NL West without star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. during the first two or three months.
Clevinger is capable of performing like a solid, top-of-the-rotation starter if healthy.
The Padres certainly hope his knee and elbow both cooperate.