Monday, July 9, 2012

Say it ain't so, Joe

On  the 27th pitch thrown from a bullpen mound on July 2, Joe Wieland, attempting a comeback from an elbow injury suffered on April 30, experienced elbow pain as he snapped off a breaking ball in Peoria. Wieland didn't throw another pitch. He went to San Diego late last week for an MRI exam.

I asked Padres GM Josh Byrnes three days ago if Wieland, 22, may need Tommy John surgery. "We'll know in a few days what the course of action will be," Byrnes said. "I hate to speculate until we know more."

The Padres have lost one pitching prospect, Juan Oramas, a lefty in Double-A, to reconstructive elbow surgery this year. Two others, Casey Kelly and Robbie Erlin, have been sidelined for several weeks by elbow injuries. The Padres had hoped Kelly would return to a game by July 1, said farm director Randy Smith, but the righty suffered a setback, believed to be caused by nerve irritation.

Acquired along with Erlin last summer in the Mike Adams trade with the Rangers, Wieland made four starts for the Padres in April and was 0-4 with a 4.55 ERA. The Padres, wanting to protect his arm, moved him into a six-man rotation shortly after the trade.

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