Padres Hopeful Joe Wieland Playing Catch

Joe Wieland is a 22-year-old starting pitcher; one that the San Diego Padres are hoping can be a mainstay in their rotation in the not so very far future.

Acquired by the Padres in July 2011 from the Texas Rangers in a deal that sent relief specialist Mike Adams to the American League, Wieland earned a spot in San Diego's rotation last spring, starting five games in April and early May.  Winless in those starts (0-4, 4.55 ERA), the young righty, who had struck out 24 batters in his 27 innings pitched, found himself on the disabled list on May 10 with "elbow strain".

A period of rest was prescribed for the Reno, Nevada native, followed by a throwing regimen.  His program progressed to the point where he was throwing from the bullpen mound, only to be shut down again in July when the pain intensified.  On July 17, the Padres announced that Wieland would indeed require Tommy John Surgery, to repair the elbow tendon in his pitching arm. The operation took place in late July.

Friday Wieland revealed via Twitter that he had played catch for the first time since the surgery.  While he gave no further details, the 6'3, 195 lb. is not expected to return to action until after the All-Star Game.

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