A beleaguered San Diego Padres rotation just got a boost.
Mike Clevinger, the pitcher who San Diego envisioned pitching for them in the playoffs, has been added to the 28-man roster for the National League Division Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Joining him on the roster will be outfielder Greg Allen and LHP Ryan Weathers, the sixth-ranked prospect in San Diego’s farm system, according to MLB.com. Infielder Greg Garcia, Jorge Mateo, and RHP Dan Altavilla were left off the roster.
Remaining absent from the roster is ace pitcher Dinelson Lamet, who also missed the three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Lamet exited a Sept. 25 game against the San Francisco Giants with biceps tightness and hasn’t appeared in a game since.
The Padres remain optimistic about the 28-year-old. Lamet hasn’t thrown a bullpen since his injury but has still played catch on flat ground. If the Padres advance to the next round of the playoffs, the hard-throwing right-hander has a chance of appearing in a game.
Clevinger, who had dealt with an elbow strain since Sept. 23, is back in action for a team that desperately needs him. Clevinger was adamant about starting Game 1 against the Dodgers, especially after coming out of a high-intensity bullpen “pain-free,” according to Robert Murray of The Athletic.
Mike Clevinger has pushed hard in recent days to start Game 1 of the NLDS. After three throwing sessions (2 flat ground, 1 bullpen) and coming out of each pain free, there are strong indications he will take the mound today against the Dodgers.
— Robert Murray (@ByRobertMurray) October 6, 2020
Clevinger’s presence is a shot in the arm for a team that saw Chris Paddack and Zach Davies falter in less than three innings of work, leaving the bullpen to shoulder much more work than what was planned. While Clevinger will be on a monitored workload, he should be trusted to last longer than three innings.
Another surprise addition to the roster is Weathers. The 20-year-old left-hander hasn’t made a start past Low-A Fort Wayne, where he pitched 96 innings with a 3.84 ERA, 8.44 K/9, and 1.69 BB/9. While many expected top pitching prospect MacKenzie Gore in this spot, Weathers has impressed coaches at USD by touching 97 MPH in the bullpen.
If he were to pitch in any of the three games, he would be the third player in 2020 to make his MLB debut in the postseason. Minnesota Twins outfielder Alex Kiriloff went 1-4 in a Sept. 30 Wild Card game, and Tampa Bay Rays LHP Shane Mclanahan pitched 1/3 of an inning against the New York Yankees on October 5.
Allen’s role seems to be one where he will be a late-game defensive replacement, spelling players such as Jurickson Profar and Tommy Pham. Like Mateo, Allen is a speedster who is a valuable pinch-runner.