Brad Wieck spent three weeks of the regular season a major leaguer, getting a late September call-up to join the San Diego Padres.

Wieck made the most of those three weeks for the Padres, appearing in five games, pitching seven innings, allowing only one earned run with a 1.29 ERA. The 6-foot-9, 255 pound hard-throwing lefty, had an impressive 0.43 WHIP during those outings, with 10 strikeouts.

Wieck, 26, has spent five years in the minor leagues, recently bouncing back and forth between San Diego's Double A affiliate San Antonio and its Triple A affiliate, El Paso. The 2010 San Jacinto Christian graduate was originally a seventh round draft pick of the New York Mets.

Wieck, who recently returned back to Amarillo, took time out of his schedule to discuss being on the big league club, his time in the minors and what Amarillo can expect with the San Diego Padres organization.

 

What was it like getting the call that you were headed to the majors to join the Padres? "It was something my family and I had waited a long time for. Words really can't describe it. Words can't really put what happened to me over the last three weeks. Words don't do it justice."
Talk about your first experience on the mound as a San Diego Padres pitcher? "We were home, and we faced the Texas Rangers, a homestate rival. That was sweet. I tried not to let the nerves sit in while I sat there the first three days I got called up. I remember my bullpen coach goes, 'Wieck, you got the next inning.' I was ready. That's when my nerves settled down.

"Somehow I get three outs, and I go back to the dugout and our manager Andy Green and pitching coach Danny Balsley both congratulated me. It was the biggest weight off my shoulders. It was a cool experience."

Who were the first three hitters you faced? "Delino Deshields, Jr., was the first. I got behind in a 2-0 count. I wanted that first pitch to be a strike, but my first pitch sailed. Then I did it again. Luckily I locked it in and got a couple strikes and got a weak pop out. Then it was Shin Soo Choo and Elvis Andrus."

How was it facing a player like Elvis? "My family and I used to go to Rangers games when they played the Yankees. I was a big Yankees fan as a kid. I watched him when he was a rookie, then I got to face him in my first appearance. That was sweet. I wished I would have faced Adrian Beltre."

Were you on a mission entering the minors this season after last year? "I had struggled in Triple A last year with El Paso. I threw it well in Double A, but in Triple A I didn't pitch well. I went into spring training with the mentality that if I get back to Triple A, this will be my redemption year in the Pacific Coast League. I'm going to wear out anyone I could.

"I worked my way back through Double A, and got promoted to Triple A through mid-season this year. The PCL is a tough league. They have short ballparks, high altitude and wind. I limited walks, and wanted to get beat over the plate. God willing, it worked and I got the call."

What is Amarillo getting with the San Diego Padres organization? "Right now, the Padres have one of the best Minor League systems in baseball, so talent will be coming through here. The Padres Double A team has been in the playoffs the past two years. It's explosive power. Amarillo will see some baseball they've never seen before."

What do you think about the nickname? We're talking names like Sodpoodles or Bootscooters right now? "I just want something catchy. There is a lot of odd names in the minors. I just want something catchy and something people can root for.

"Sodpoodles is all right, It's a prairie dog I guess. No one ever called it that here. That's why they did it. It's catchy, and they have everyone saying Sodpoodles."