It has been a long road for left-handed pitcher Brad Wieck in his quest to be a major leaguer. He has battled through many obstacles, but none was tougher than what he had to deal with this winter. A diagnosis of testicular cancer.
Originally drafted in the 29th round out of high school by the Phillies, Brad Wieck spent time at Frank Philips College (Borger, Texas), Cisco Junior College (Cisco, Texas) and Oklahoma City University (Oklahoma City, Texas) before being signing with the New York Mets who selected him in the seventh round of the 2014 draft.
Rumor had it that the Padres were just about to draft the lefty with their 8th round pick that year. Wieck told EVT in our first interview with him that the Padres had been scouting him prior to that draft. In March of 2015, the Padres dealt Alex Torres to the New York Mets for right-handed pitcher Cory Mazzoni and a player to be named later. That PTBNL turned out to be Brad Wieck.
Wieck was a starting pitcher for the beginning of his professional baseball career. He struck out 278 batters in his first 246 innings pitched as a starter which was fantastic, but the Padres transitioned him into the bullpen after the 2015 season in Lake Elsinore. Wieck took the switch to the pen in stride. He just wanted to pitch at the next level.
The 6-foot-9 left-handed pitcher has always had great ability with his stuff, but he has grinded his way for everything he has attained. He made his major league debut last year and it could not have been sweeter for the pitcher. “You work your butt off your whole life for a chance at the big leagues. I finally got a taste of the big leagues and it was everything I thought it would be and more. I was really excited to get here for spring and whatnot,” said Wieck with a smile.
He is proud of how his 2018 season ended and was really starting to see the rewards of all his hard work. Wieck did not walk a batter in his seven innings pitched last year in September for the Padres. He struck out 10 in that time and that is something that Andy Green loved to see from the big lefty. “Honestly that was my proudest stat while I was up there. That was one of the things that they told me to work on,” said Wieck. The Padres want him to pound the strike zone and he took that to heart.
Wieck stayed close to Petco in the offseason in an attempt to get stronger and perfect his craft.
While working out in San Diego this winter, Brad Wieck felt a pain that was abnormal. “I had a weird pain and a weird movement in that area (motioning to his private area),” said Weick. He immediately had it looked at and the diagnosis was unexpected. “I went and got it checked out and it was like a two-centimeter mass. Once they find something like that, they want to get it out as soon as possible. The whole thing (surgery) was like a 45 minutes process,” said Wieck. He is upbeat and positive, but you get the sense the whole situation was scary for him.
“Everything hit just so fast. I was struck by it. I really didn’t know what to think, admitted Wieck. “My instant reaction was how long is this going to put me out. Is this a permanent thing? Is this a two-month thing, is this a year thing?” said Wieck. The fear was there, but his first thoughts were about getting back on the mound. “I was just wondering how long I would be sidelined,” stated the left-handed pitcher.
His recovery process is going very well. He is pain-free and mechanically sound. “I could be a lot further behind than I am right now,” said Wieck with a grin. He is content that over time he has gotten better. The left-hander is thankful for that fact and despite this hurdle, has a very positive attitude. “It was frustrating for sure, but it could have been a lot worse,” said Wieck. He should be facing live hitters soon and that will be another hurdle for the tall pitcher to overcome. It hasn’t yet been determined where and when he will start his 2019 season, but you can be sure- Brad Wieck will pitch at Petco Park very soon.