Big league action not likely for Luebke, Wieland

Big league action not likely for Luebke, Wieland

Big league action not likely for Luebke, Wieland

MILWAUKEE -- Pitchers Cory Luebke and Joe Wieland, each recovering from Tommy John surgery performed a year ago, are unlikely to appear in a Major League game this season.

San Diego manager Bud Black said Luebke and Wieland will still have opportunities to pitch during this calendar year, though it would have to come in instructional league, the Arizona Fall League or winter ball.

Luebke, who had reconstructive surgery on his left elbow on May 23, 2012, has had several stops-and-starts along his rehabilitation route. He just recently started throwing -- not pitching -- off the mound. Luebke told this month that he was aiming to pitch in a game, big league or Minor League, before the end of the season.

"I hope like heck I can," he said.

The problem is the Minor League season ends on Sept. 2, meaning there would be no games for him to pitch in order to build his stamina and arm strength.

Wieland, who had surgery on his right elbow last July 27, had progressed well to the point where the team had mapped out a tentative plan for him to start a Minor League rehabilitation assignment. But Wieland recently had a triceps strain and his throwing program was slowed.

Black refuses to call either case a setback. He often cites the 12-to-18-month window that it takes for a pitcher coming off Tommy John surgery to recover and get back in a game.

That said, Black indicated that it's still important for Luebke and Wieland to get into a game -- even if it's instructional league or otherwise -- if they're able to.

"I think it's important for all of us to have them, if able, pitch in a game," Black said.

Corey Brock is a reporter for Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.