It’s been a bad week for both the Padres and the Chargers.
The Padres, headed to the playoffs next week, might have to start the postseason without the ace of the pitching staff.
The Chargers head to weekend three of the schedule without their starting quarterback, his unavailability because of a medical issue with a team doctor.
Not good news on either front.
Mike Clevinger, the huge trade deadline acquisition from the Cleveland Indians, came off the mound after 1-inning in his latest start against the Angels. The max-effort righthander threw 12-pitches, but tweaked his lower bicep near his elbow after throwing a curveball to the second batter he faced.
He felt tightness, felt a twinge, just two days after threw a 25 pitch bullpen session where he did not feel anything wrong with his arm. He is a power pitcher, who has wicked stuff, and power delivery.
Biceps are scary. The location, down near the blow, is scary too. And these type of injuries, inflammation, need time to heal, and the Padres don’t have time. They start the National League playoffs next week.
If Clevinger cannot take a playoff start, things get complicated, because fellow starter Chris Paddack has had just 1-quality start in his last 7-outings, with an ERA over 6.00-in that span.
Meanwhile the scary story with Chargers QB-Tyrod Taylor has become a hot story nationwide. Taylor suffered a cracked rib in the season opening first series in Cincinnati. He played the entire game, but the situation got worse last week.
Limited in practice, Taylor finally had x-rays late in the week that showed two cracked ribs.
The quarterback took a pain-killing injection Sunday morning, hours before the 2nd game kickoff against the Chiefs. He developed pain in his chest, then had breathing problems during warmups..
Now we find out a team doctor, who gave him the pain-killing injection on Sunday morning, missed the rib, and punctured a lung. That led to the breathing and pain problem.
Borderline malpractice? A bad medical mistake? This is a bad look for the Chargers organization. Accidents like this should not happen.
Cracked ribs take time to heal. A damaged lung is much more serious.
We have not heard the end of this story. The NFL Union wants answers. The doctor has not been identified, disciplined, or removed from the staff, yet, but this is serious-very serious.
One wonders what the feeling is inside the Chargers locker-room in terms of “trust of the medical people” employed by the club.
There has been a history of medical treatment issues with Charges team doctors, dating back to the Junior Seau pre-suicide health issues, all the way back to the Chargers drug scandals in the 1970s with pep pills…and pain killeers.
Yes, rookie QB-Justin Herbert played very well against the Chiefs, so he will keep the team competitive , but he is a rookie, and more big games are up next on the schedule.
And Taylor has been told he will not be playing for an indefinite period of time.
This is not a good time, with a Padres team that is now hurt, not hitting, and has lost 5-of-7. Not a good time for the Chargers either, with a big picture question about the medical care given to players.
Injuries are part of the game. Treatment of injuries, the intangible part of the Padres-Chargers seasons, is important too.
Bad day hopefully does not turn into a bad week and impact what many hoped would bea good season.