SAN DIEGO -- The Padres are keeping their rotation options open.
The Padres' rotation for the Wild Card Series against the Cardinals remains in flux. Both right-handers are among the team’s options.
San Diego will wait until after Tuesday's workout to solidify its pitching plans. As such, Lamet (right biceps tightness) and Clevinger (right elbow impingement) remain question marks.
Neither has thrown a bullpen session since sustaining his injury, however, making a Game 1 start seem unlikely for either pitcher. That could mean right-hander Zach Davies will take the ball for the opener. But sources indicated that alternative plans are still on the table and nothing has been finalized.
As things stand, Davies is the only pitcher guaranteed to fill one of the three spots in the Padres' rotation for the best-of-three Wild Card Series. His final outing of the season lasted only three innings and 51 pitches on Saturday -- in order to line him up for any of the three games this week.
"Guys in that clubhouse are still prepared, if they aren't available to play, to go out there and play Padres baseball and be ready to win games," Davies said after that start. "It's good to hear, personally, that they're all right. Hopefully they can bounce back pretty quick and be available."
Davies has been arguably the Padres' steadiest pitcher this season, posting a 2.73 ERA across 12 starts.
Clevinger, San Diego's biggest prize at the Trade Deadline, had been in line for Game 1 before he exited his start last Wednesday. He received a cortisone injection on Friday, and the Padres pivoted to a new plan: a Game 1 start for Lamet. Clevinger, they hoped, would be available toward the end of the Wild Card Series -- or potentially the NL Division Series, should they advance.
Hours later, Lamet exited his outing with what manager Jayce Tingler termed “right biceps tightness.” Lamet’s status for Game 1 -- and for the Wild Card Series roster -- remains unclear.
The Padres plan to wait until both report to Tuesday’s workout. They’ll take stock of their health then. Once they do so, San Diego will begin finalizing its playoff rotation and roster.
On Sunday, Rosenthal gave huge credit to catcher Yadier Molina and right-hander Adam Wainwright for helping him during the early part of his career.
"They meant everything," Rosenthal said. "With Yadi, I love Yadi and I credit a lot of my success to him. It's going to be fun to play against those guys. Waino, it's the same way. We're really good friends, and just his character on and off the field, it's impacted me, my family, and it's going to impact the rest of my life."
Of course, there will be little time for pleasantries this week. Wainwright has been tabbed to start Game 2, pitching to Molina. (That's precisely how the Padres' last trip to the postseason ended 14 years ago.)
“We’re not going to be friends for this next week,” Rosenthal said. “And I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
In the four seasons since he last pitched for St. Louis, Rosenthal hasn't faced Molina.
Kim for Game 1
The Padres haven't settled on a Game 1 starter, but the Cardinals have. Left-hander Kwang Hyun Kim will take the ball on Wednesday.
That likely takes any meaningful lineup decisions out of Tingler's hands. Lefties Mitch Moreland and Jason Castro -- who have poor career numbers against left-handed pitching -- are probably bound to open the series on the bench.
It's a noteworthy Game 1 matchup for the Padres, who were among a handful of teams interested in signing Kim during the offseason. Ultimately, he landed in St. Louis on a two-year, $8 million deal, and he's posted a 1.62 ERA in eight outings this season.