Joe Wieland injury: Padres RHP will pitch in Arizona Fall League

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

The former highly-rated prospect hopes to have completely recovered by spring training.

San Diego Padres pitcher Joe Wieland will pitch one inning in the Arizona Fall League, and hopes to be at full strength for spring training in 2014, reports Corey Brock of MLB.com.

Wieland is a former Padres top prospect who underwent Tommy John surgery during the summer of 2012. The 23-year-old come over from the Texas Rangers along with Robbie Erlin for reliever Mike Adams.

John Sickles of Minor League Ball rated Wieland as the sixth-best prospect in a deep Padres farm system before the 2012 season. Sickels projected Wieland as a solid starter, writing:

Wieland works comfortably at 89-92 MPH and has been clocked as high as 94 MPH this year. He already has a very good, plus curveball, and his changeup has above-average moments. His command and control are exceptional...He tends to be a fly ball type, but would fit well in the San Diego environment. Wieland projects as a sound number three starter.

Wieland made five starts for the Padres in 2012 before being shut down, eventually needing the reconstructive elbow surgery. The Padres had recently had a number of pitchers that needed Tommy John; Corey Luebke and Rymer Liriano also underwent the procedure in 2012, while Casey Kelly underwent the surgery before the start of the 2013 season.

San Diego hopes that the return of some their injured pitchers will help the team compete in 2014. The Padres went 76-86 in 2013, and their starters finished with the fourth-highest ERA in the NL.

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