Joe Wieland had a nice debut today for Hickory: 4.2/4h/2r/0bb/5so. The Hickory announcer praised his curveball. On one sequence in the fifth he threw: 1st pitch strike to first batter with change; 2nd pitch strike with curve; strikeout on curve. Wieland's fastball command and curveball border on plus so look at him to have a nice year for hickory and work primarily on his change, command on his secondary stuff.
I am surprised that Wieland was activated before Neil Ramirez. Jason Cole over at Lonestardugout.com reported at least 2 weeks ago that NeRa was throwing bullpens. So I assume he is healthy and should be activated in the next week or so if he hasn't had a setback. If you remember, NeRa was sidelined by a nonpitching-related injury to his pitching elbow (no other details to date).
Springston was sent to extended to make room for Wieland. Springston is a bullpen guy, so I guess the coach decided that they didn't want to demote anyone else from the pen or that Springston had some particular homework to attend to in extended.
Tim Murphy was activated from the DL for the Blaze. It doesn't appear that Tim was injured, rather, he was working on some mechanical changes during his "injury". This per an interview with the pitching coach posted over at lonestardugout.com.
Ryan Tatusko was placed on the DL to make room for him.
Couple of major league notes:
1. FranFran pitched a bullpen today without problem. He will pitch a simulated game on WED and if he recovers nicely on Thursday, could be activated on Friday to start the Houston away series.
2. Willie Eyre pitched his second or third bullpen on Sunday without complication. He will go again on Tuesday, and could start his rehab program on Thursday or Saturday. Look for TX to leave him in the minors a little longer than his last abbreviated rehab stint in AA to make sure his groin is ok.
3. Nippert has been cleared to start a throwing program. He probably won't start a rehab assignment for at least 2 weeks, so look for him to be sent down the first week of June. He is eligible to come off the DL on 5/28.
The hot Yanks are in town next Monday. Should be a great series with A-Rod back and Tex finally heating up.