Brad Wieck was placed on the IL back on July 9 with an irregular heartbeat, similar to the atrial flutter that forced him to miss the start of spring training in 2020. Per Jordan Bastian, Wieck is set to undergo another heart ablation procedure in order to correct the issue.
Cardiac ablation involves scarring small areas of the heart responsible for creating rhythm problems. This is done by placing small electrodes on the heart via catheter and then using either heat energy or very cold temperatures to scar the portions responsible for the abnormal signals, thus preventing them from moving through the heart.
Despite sounding a little scary, it’s actually a pretty simple procedure and most patients are back to normal in short order. For instance, Wieck had his previous ablation at Northwestern Memorial Hospital on a Monday and was back in Mesa two days later. The recovery is actually more about healing from the catheter, which goes in through the groin, than from the heart itself.
Wieck was able to resume light throwing a week after his previous procedure and had hoped at the time to be ready to go by Opening Day of 2020. That ended up being the case, but certainly not in the way he’d planned it since camps closed in March and the season resumed near the end of July.
Assuming a clean bill of health and a similar timetable with no hiccups in his rehab, it’s possible the big lefty could be back on the mound at some point in September. If that sounds a little ambitious, consider that Wick underwent testicular cancer surgery in January of 2019 when doctors discovered a tumor during a pre-camp physical. He was throwing again by late February.
The most important thing here is Wieck’s health, regardless of what it means for his ability to play baseball again, so let’s hope all goes well and he’s able to get this issue corrected for good.