Padres missing top two starters for wild-card series

The San Diego Padres are in the playoffs for the first time since 2006, but it’s not going to start the way they probably imagined.

Their top two starting pitchers, Mike Clevinger and Dinelson Lamet, are not on the roster for the wild-card series.

Both are instead on the 12-man taxi squad, which means they could return at a later stage in the playoffs — if the Padres make it that far.

Lamet, 28, has been an absolute stud for the Padres this season. In 12 games he has a 2.09 ERA with 93 strikeouts and 20 walks. He’s currently dealing with a biceps issue, which is what caused him to leave his last start of the season earlier than normal. According to Jeff Sanders of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Lamet hasn’t thrown a bullpen session since he exited his start on Friday, and has also not had an MRI.

There are greater concerns about Clevinger, 29, who was acquired by the Padres at the trade deadline. He’s started eight games in 2020, missing some time after breaking COVID-19 protocols and being demoted by Cleveland, and has a 3.02 ERA with 40 strikeouts, but has been dealing with elbow and biceps issues since mid-September. He threw a bullpen session on Tuesday that only seemed to muddy the waters, as now there’s a question about whether he’ll pitch in the playoffs at all.

The Padres will face the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday at 5:08 pm ET. Chris Paddack will start Game 1, while Zach Davies will start Game 2.

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 29: Mike Clevinger #52 of the San Diego Padres walks into the dugout after his workout at PETCO Park on September 29, 2020 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images)
Mike Clevinger won't start for the Padres during the wild-card series, and maybe even longer. (Photo by Matt Thomas/San Diego Padres/Getty Images)

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