A late-season elbow impingement forced Mike Clevinger to sit out the Padres’ wild card series with the Cardinals, and an attempt return in Game 1 of the NLCS resulted in just 24 pitches and a second-inning removal. There is some reason for optimism, however, as “according to multiple people familiar with his injury, [Clevinger] is likely headed for nothing more invasive than arthroscopic surgery,” Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
This would put the right-hander on track to be ready to roll for the start of the 2021 season. While arthroscopic surgery isn’t exactly routine, it would certainly be a relief to Clevinger and the Padres that his elbow problem is minor enough that it can be corrected with such a relatively straight-forward procedure (if even that step is required).
Though Clevinger couldn’t contribute much in the postseason, he posted a 2.84 ERA, 6.33 K/BB rate, and 9.0 K/9 over 19 innings for the Padres after being acquired from the Indians in a blockbuster deadline trade. San Diego paid a significant price for Clevinger, not just because of what he could add to the 2020 team, but for his two remaining years of arbitration of control in 2021 and 2022. While the Padres probably won’t entirely breathe easy until they see Clevinger healthy during offseason work or in Spring Training, it seems like the team can count on Clevinger being ready to anchor the rotation of what the Friars hope will be another pennant contender.