Wieland Is Winning

Statistically, it is tough to find a Rangers pitching prospect who has had a better showing in 2011 than Frisco starter Joe Wieland. Last night’s performance is the prime example.

Quite frankly, outside circumstances had set Wieland up to fail. The right-hander was facing a San Antonio offense that ranks second in the Texas League, so it was one of the best lineups he has ever faced. There was a 61-minute rain delay to deal with. Some would say he was “due” for a rough outing. After all, he came into Tuesday’s start with a 7-3 record and an overall ERA barely above 2.

Photo: James Garner

Then, Wieland walked a pair after a single to load the bases in the first.

Wieland got out of that threat with a strikeout, and he never looked back. Seven innings, one run, two hits, seven strikeouts. At one point, he set down 15 Missions in a row. Five of Wieland’s seven frames ended in 1-2-3 fashion.

In Frisco, Wieland is 2-0 with a 1.86 earned run average in his first five Double-A starts. The Reno, Nev., native has worked through the fifth inning in all of those efforts. He has given up a total of six earned runs. The ‘Riders are a perfect 5-0 when Wieland pitches.

Before the season, Wieland was ranked the 22nd best prospect in the Rangers’ system by Baseball America. So far, he has pitched much better than that ranking. With High-A Myrtle Beach, he went 6-3 with a 2.10 ERA and started for the Carolina League in the All-Star Game right before his promotion to North Texas.

Overall this year, Wieland has never failed to pitch through the fifth inning in a start. He has allowed two earned runs or less in 16 of his 18 starts.

And with the RoughRiders trying to bounce back from a tough 12-inning loss to a Missions team that has had the ‘Riders’ number this year, Wieland offered up his best outing of the season last night.

– Brian

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