Vicente Padilla likely sidelined until at least June

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Surprisingly picked by Joe Torre as the Dodgers’ Opening Day starter, Vicente Padilla not so surprisingly allowed 18 runs in 21.2 innings before landing on the disabled list with a nerve problem in his forearm.
Torre indicated yesterday that Padilla is unlikely to rejoin the rotation before June:

He is feeling better, but I don’t see him helping us this month … just from the fact that when he is ready to pitch, I don’t want to say he is starting all over again, but he will have a lot of work to do to get back on a mound at this level.

Meanwhile, Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times writes that the Dodgers are “scrambling” to find “worthy candidates” to replace Padilla. Torre picking Padilla to start on Opening Day was bad enough, but when a contending team is thrown completely out of whack by an injury to a pitcher who hasn’t had an ERA below 4.40 since way back 2003 … well, it’s not a great sign.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.