I was at Tueday’s El Paso Chihuahuas game, when I looked up and saw Brad Wieck standing in front of me.
Standing at 6-foot nine, Brad Wieck is an imposing figure and the scouting reports I’ve seen say his fastball can reach 94.
He is hitting 95 with ease now and he mixes in a slider, curveball and change-up.
East Village Times has talked to Brad before and they got a really in-depth look at him.
I asked some baseball questions of course, but also spent some time getting to know Brad Wieck the person.
Note: For readability, I omitted some transitional words in the following interview, from both myself and Wieck. If you are wanting to know perfect quotes for any reason then let me know. It’s all very close to exact.
Q: How did you find out you were being promoted to Triple-A? Who told you? What was that like?
Wieck: Mark Prior texted me on our… so Double-A’s on their All-Star break right, so he texted me at like midnight and asked me where I was spending my All-Star break. I told him in San Antonio because I didn’t wanna drive 8 hours back to home… and he asked me, would I rather take three days off for the All-Star break, and then come here or would I rather just keep rollin’. So, I mean I like pitching, so I told him I’d rather just keep going.
Q: How often do you talk to Mark Prior? What exactly is his role?
Wieck: He’s our head pitching coordinator. I probably talk to him every other week or so. He makes his rounds. He comes through each minor league affiliate, so quite often.
Q: I know you have a slider and fastball. What else do you have?
Wieck: Change-up, Curveball. I trust my fastball a lot. I usually throw a lot of fastballs. It just depends on who the hitter is and after that whether I wanna go up with a heater or spin something in the dirt. It just depends on who it is.
Q: At this point is there anything mechanically you’re working on or are you just doing you?
Wieck: Earlier in the season I was trying to get my time to the plate down. Our goal is a 1.35 so I was at like, 1.45 so I put in time with our Double-A pitching coach JJ [Jimmy Jones] and that’s about it. Just trying to be quicker to the plate. It helps me stay more in time.
Q: That kinda makes me think of Miguel Montero and him getting onto his pitcher for not being quick to the plate. Have you ever had a catcher talk to you after a game?
Wieck: I don’t think I’m that slow. It’s just our goal is a 1.35, so we can give our catcher the best opportunity to throw them out.
Wieck: Yeah, it was cool to see my name up there.
At this point I transitioned to “getting to know you questions”.
Q: Like me, Wieck is from Texas so I asked him “Does El Paso even feel like Texas to you?”
Wieck: I played here in junior college. I usually don’t make it this far close to the border. I mean… in high school the furthest I’d go was usually Dallas. So, yes and no. It’s still nice to be closer to home than other places that I’ve played throughout the minor leagues. I mean it’s six hours back to home so it gives my parents the opportunity to drive down to see my pitch, so that’s all I can really ask for.
Q: Have you thought about what it’s going to be like to have your first Topps or Bowman baseball card?
Wieck: Not really man. I’m just focused on putting zeroes on the scoreboard right now and giving my team a chance to win a ball game so, I try not to get too consumed in all the extra stuff. I’m just staying focused on what I’m doing on the mound.
Q: Is weightlifting an important part of your regimen?
Wieck: Yeah, we left every time after we throw, so I lift three or four times a week.
Q: What are some of your most important lifts?
Wieck: Honestly arm care. During the season it’s just maintaining what you did in the off-season but staying healthy is the most important part in baseball, so trying to take care of the shoulders, take care of your forearm. That’s really it.
Q: Do you care about weightlifting personal records at all?
Wieck: I don’t lift heavy. I just try to stay lean and flexible.
Q: I read that you play golf…
Wieck: I try. It’s just something to get your mind off of baseball for a little bit.
Q: Have you gotten to know who in this clubhouse are the better golfers?
Wieck: Not yet. I think Zach Lee is pretty good at golfing. Michael Kelly, he’s in Double-A right now, but he’s a very good golfer.
Shortly after that, Michael Kelly was called up to Triple-A, which leads me to believe that if I interview someone and they mention a Double-A guy, then you can expect that guy in El Paso shortly. Before ending the interview, I let him know that Nick Buss would also be a good golf partner. Buss played golf in high school and has a brother who played in college.
Wieck is an exciting addition to the Chihuahuas and I’m still a believer in his ability to break into the big leagues this season, but either way his focus will be on doing his job. If there’s one thing I’ve gathered from this interview and others it’s that has mind is in the right place. The front office will do what they do, and Wieck will just be pitching to the best of his ability in the meantime.