Wieland Completes Road To Recovery
Manager Bud Black announced the starting pitchers that would start the series vs. the Diamondbacks that begins Friday night. One player that was absent from that announcement was right-hander Joe Wieland. Though he is not slated to be part of the Padres rotation, that does not mean that Wieland is a man in any sort of limbo when it comes to a role within the team.
The plan moving forward for him is to go into the bullpen for the remainder of the season as a long reliever. It is a role that he certainly can fill and will be an opportunity for him to get his work in, improve his overall performance and help the team in a big way, especially if a starter either gets injured in the midst of a start or if they have a rocky start and are knocked out of the game early.
Wieland certainly can use the innings of work available to him that can come in this role. This is much more than just his overall performance in these appearances, this is about his overall ability to work himself into a rhythm and routine after such a long layoff from his last full time amount of work on the mound.
After 28 months since he last threw a pitch in a game, Wieland made his debut last Saturday at Coors Field in Denver. Though his stint on the mound was not what he envisioned in his mind, he gave up fours runs on seven hits, walked two, and struck out one, in 2 1/3 innings pitched, just being back in a game was a big achievement for him. Getting the nervousness and anxiety out of his system is a win within itself. Knowing for 28 months that this day was coming, and having all that time to think about it and dream of how it will go, this is a major hurdle that Wieland just cleared.
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The 24-year-old lost his chance to be a big factor for this team after suffering from discomfort in the back of his elbow back in March. This unfortunately led to him having arthroscopic surgery. He will have a chance to make the starting rotation next season when spring training commences.
He is still a young pitcher, who is trying to find his way in the major leagues. If he can remain healthy for the rest of this season, through the upcoming off-season and into spring training, we could very well be talking about Wieland as another young pitcher for the Padres that is a rising star.