San Diego Padres’ pitcher Brad Wieck has “grinded” his whole career. The 2019 season has been no different. After a stint in the minors, he is hoping to stick with the major league club and become a reliable weapon out of the bullpen.
Health had been a big issue for San Diego Padres’ left-handed pitcher Brad Wieck. A battle with cancer early in the year put Wieck’s baseball career in jeopardy.
After a 12 day stay in the minors, he was recalled this week. “I feel good. My arm feels good. Doctors are telling me that everything else is checking out good. I am just continuing to grind,” Wieck told EVT. The cancer battle is thankfully a thing of the past, but now Wieck is fighting for his major league career.
The grind is real for the 27-year-old. He has battled to get to the majors but has yet to find his stride. The Padres are patient with the pitcher, as the potential is real for the 6-foot-9 left-hander. The demotion to El Paso was rough for him, but he took it in stride. “It sucked getting sent down for sure, but I had things that I needed to work on. I just kept the mindset that I needed to go down and work on things. I just needed to continue to get better,” Wieck said.
In El Paso, there were specific things that Wieck worked on. “I went down there and worked on arm side fastballs. I started throwing some curves too. I got away from that for a little bit. I just went down there and started to attack hitters,” Wieck explained. He elaborated some more about what he worked on in Texas. “I got away from the arm side fastball. I get a lot of swings and misses from it, and I got away from that. My glove side has been good this year; I just need to have both,” Wieck said. He wants to be able to work in and out to hitters and feel comfortable in that. The goal is to be less predictable and attack hitters without any mercy. The Padres want Wieck to pound the zone.
Throwing a curve is not an easy thing. Most people describe the pitch as a “feel” pitch. Wieck was a starting pitcher at one point in his career, so he always knew how to throw a curve. The adjustment came easier for him than most. “It definitely is a feel pitch. Luckily. I have thrown a lot of curveballs in my life. I threw curves all the way until last year. Then I started to focus on fastball/slider because that is what you traditionally see out of a big league bullpen. Last year, I strictly focused on those pitches,” Wieck explained to EVT. During warmups and while playing catch, he would occasionally throw the curveball. He always had the pitch in his back pocket in case he needed to throw it to batters. After being roughed up a bit, he id adjusting his mentality. “Sometimes, you need to use more than two pitches. If you have three weapons, why are you only using two? That was my thought process. It gives hitters one more speed range to look at. My curve is probably eight miles an hour slower than my slider,” Wieck said.
The velocity on Wieck’s fastball is increasing. He is now throwing in the mid-’90s continuously. “Throughout the season, I have always tended to get stronger. My body is feeling good, my mechanics are good,” Wieck stated. Expect him to keep the velocity where it is presently at. The lefty is also working on pounding both sides of the plate. The curveball gives him a different dimension to work on against hitters. He is struggling a bit presently but has the work ethic and stuff to succeed in this game. There is still plenty of time for Brad Wieck to solidify himself in the bullpen for the San Diego Padres.