Double-A Frisco right-hander Joe Wieland has thrown a no-hitter down in San Antonio tonight, going nine innings and facing the minimum 27 batters while yielding only a fourth-inning walk (which was promptly eliminated on a strike-'em-out-throw-'em-out double play to end the inning). As far as I'm aware, Wieland is the first RoughRiders pitcher to throw a no-hitter since Matt Harrison tossed a seven-inning no-hitter against (ironically) San Antonio at Dr. Pepper Ballpark in May 2008.
According to friend of the website Josh Bowe, who's currently interning for the San Antonio Express-News and covered tonight's Missions game, there were a number of scouts in attendance at Wieland's start tonight, including a delegate from the Baltimore Orioles. Insert Koji Uehara speculation here.
In light of his massive success (and really, this entire season has been huge success, given that he's 21 and dominating at Frisco to the tune of a 1.59 ERA and 29 strikeouts against just 10 walks and two home runs in 37.1 innings, after posting an otherworldly 96-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio earlier this season at High-A Myrtle Beach), Kevin Goldstein has shared the following remarks on Twitter: "I talked to a team early this week that told me the Rangers were very high on Wieland and very reluctant to talk about him in deals. ... Last scout I talked to saw Wieland recently and had him comfortably in low 90s and bumping 94, more 88-91 last year."
Back at the beginning of June, Jason Cole and Jason Parks ranked Wieland as the 11th-best prospect in the system, with Cole issuing the following comments: "A command and control specialist with at least solid-average stuff, Wieland hasn’t reached Double-A yet (note: he got the call to Frisco in late June), but he is a major league starting pitcher waiting to happen. The 21-year-old has a four-pitch mix that includes an upper-80s, low-90s fastball, an above-average curveball, a newly developed slider, and a changeup. While he lacks elite projection, he should develop into a good innings-eating, middle-to-back of the rotation starter."
And, of course, there was some discussion quite a while back (spring training 2009, I believe) about how Nolan Ryan had personally intervened as far as offering guidance to Wieland.
A very exciting development, to be certain, and perhaps a very well-timed development, depending on which teams have been eyeballing Wieland the hardest and what they may have to offer the Rangers.