National League MLB Baseball
Mike Clevinger in 2020. Photo credit: @padres, via Twitter

This week presented clues into how the Padres’ starting staff is shaping up for the season.

Mike Clevinger, the team’s big 2020 acquisition, pitched in a game for the first time Wednesday since Tommy John surgery. According to MLB.com, he faced 10 batters, and sat them all down.

Clevinger told MLB that he understands he has to ease his way back, but wants to ensure that he’s strong later in the season.

“Obviously, I’m trying to build the bulk of the innings for the stretch when it really matters,” he said.

Most of the remainder of the rotation is “set in stone,” new manager Bob Melvin told MLB.com – Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove and Blake Snell.

But a lot of faces are in play for the fifth spot, from Chris Paddack and Dinelson Lamet to MacKenzie Gore, the much-heralded prospect who has faced obstacles in a path to the majors that once seemed smooth. He pronounced himself “really prepared” this spring.

“The most prepared people end up being the more confident people,” he told MLB.com. “They end up looking the most calm out there.”

The Padres, 2-4 in the spring, faced the Guardians (formerly the Indians) Sunday, winning 5-1. They had games against the Dodgers and Cubs Friday and Saturday, both of which ended in ties.

The club plays the Chicago White Sox Monday.

The Pads open the season on the road April 7 against the Arizona Diamondbacks.