San Diego Padres: RHP Prospect Joe Wieland Gets the Call

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San Diego Padres: RHP Prospect Joe Wieland Gets the Call
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According to Daniel Berk of the Arizona Daily Star, the Padres will recall right-hander Joe Wieland in place of the injured Dustin Moseley (15-day DL, shoulder) to start against the Dodgers on Saturday.  Along with fellow pitching prospect Robbie Erlin, Wieland was acquired from the Rangers last season in exchange for Mike Adams.

Wieland—the No. 9 prospect in an absolutely loaded Padres’ system—was yanked two innings into his Triple-A Tuscon start on Tuesday night and informed that he’d been called up the Show:

“When Wieland walked into the dugout, manager Terry Kennedy looked at him and said "that's enough, you have to save some bullets for Dodger Stadium on Saturday."

"It took me a minute to process it and then I started crying and hugging everyone in the dugout," Wieland said smiling. "I was crying on the bench because my dream finally came true."

Selected by the Rangers in the fourth round of the 2008 draft, Wieland’s stuff isn’t as imposing as some of the other arms in the Padres’ organization, but his command is outrageously good.  In 2011, he walked only 21 batters over 150 innings between High and Double-A—he pitched at Double-A for both the Padres and Rangers.  The strikeout totals were nearly one per inning (8.7), and he did a solid job keeping the ball in the yard as well.

His fastball reaches 93 mph, and his breaking ball is of the 12-6 variety with quality shape.  Both pitches are solid-average to above on their own, but Wieland’s command plays each pitch into the 55-60 range. 

His changeup is not used as often, but it has decent fade and should be a solid 50 pitch.  Wieland has an athletic 6’3” frame and very clean and easy mechanics that should allow him to stay reasonably healthy. 

Although it was likely that the right-hander would ultimately reach the Major Leagues during the 2012 season, it’s a bit of a surprise to see him this early, especially with the likes of Josh Geer and Matt Palmer on the Triple-A roster.

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