Padres’ Wieck Competing With His Best Stuff

Credit: USA Today Sports

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San Diego Padres left-handed pitcher Brad Wieck has been solid this year for the Padres out of the bullpen. He is coming off an incredible 12 months in his life and looks poised to be a key piece in the future of the Friars.

Brad Wieck has been through the wringer.

The 6-foot-9 left-handed pitcher has fought to make it to the major leagues. The 7th round pick of the Mets in 2014, spent four years in the minor leagues pitching at several different levels. He started his career in the rotation but was transitioned to the bullpen by the Padres shortly after they traded for him in June of 2015. “The opportunity to pitch for a big league club is amazing in itself. I was a starter my whole career but had a really good season out of the bullpen, and here I am,” Wieck told EVT.

At 27, he is excited for this year. He is still blossoming as a pitcher, and the major league coaching is helping a lot. Wieck is mechanically sound at present, and that is quite the accomplishment. As a big pitcher, it can be challenging to keep your mechanics in order. Wieck has been getting a lot of help from Darren Balsley and Doug Bochtler. They deserve credit for what they have done for the large pitcher.

Wieck has been attacking hitters of recent, and that is exactly what the Padres want. “I am just trying to compete in the zone with my best stuff,” Wieck said with a smirk. He is enjoying pitching with confidence and is taking to major league life. The fastball/slider combo he is presently using is playing well. He can throw a changeup but has yet to even throw it once this season. He does not want to get beat with his third best pitch. The fact he has that in his back pocket only bodes well for his future. In time, he may utilize the pitch.

A scary bought with testicular cancer before the season sidetracked Wieck a little bit. He started throwing a little later than his teammates, but has come back stronger than ever and reports no health issues. “I was a little behind (in conditioning and all), but feeling really good right now,” Wieck said. He was running post patterns before the game with the rest of the relievers and looked great in doing so. The relief core enjoys doing conditioning drills with footballs in the outfield before games.

In recent starts, Wieck has been using the fastball more. “I felt like I was giving up cheap hits on the slider. I hate getting beat with my second base, so  I have been using the fastball more of recent,” Wieck reports. He is attacking right now, and that is just what the team wants. A 6-foot-9 left-hander that throws in the mid-’90s is valuable out of the pen. But he has to throw strikes. So far, Wieck has done that only issues one walk in his eight appearances. So far, so good.

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