Two weeks ago, I wrote a post on the subject of Padres Starting Pitcher Cory Luebke and his return from Tommy John surgery. Luebke is gearing himself up for a Summer return to the Friars, and it would certainly not hurt to see the Friars’ most effective Starter through the first month of the 2012 season back in the fold for at least some time in 2013.
Luebke however is not the only San Diego Starter gearing up for a return from elbow surgery though. As I pointed out in the aforementioned post, Joe Wieland is also currently working his way back from his Tommy John surgery. And like Luebke, Wieland could very well be on his way to Pitching for the Friars at some point later on in the year if things go well.
Big day today!! First time playing catch since the surgery. 5 months has gone by quick! Everyone keep your fingers crossed!
At least to me, this is some seriously positive news for not only Wieland, but San Diego’s Starting Rotation as a whole. Like Luebke, a return by the Right-Hander late in the Summer would help to give San Diego’s somewhat thin Rotation some potential depth, and he would be available to gain even more big league experience. Furthermore, Wieland would be able to use his potential experience next year to build off of his somewhat rocky Rookie season in which he was called up to the Padres because of injuries to their Starting Rotation in April (0-4, 4.55 ERA, 27.2 IP, 24 K’s, 9 BB’s).
If all goes well, the Padres could have one of their best Pitching Prospects (if not the best) helping the Rotation this year in at least some way. Most importantly though, Wieland could be ready to contribute and compete in 2014 full-time. And if there is any team that is and will likely be in need of Starting Pitching depth over the next two seasons, it will be the Friars who were extremely quiet during this past offseason as they tried to address their need for help in the Rotation.
Stats & Contract Information Courtesy of: Baseball Reference