Recently-signed right-hander Ben Sheets is scheduled to make his first start for Double-AA Mississippi on Wednesday, when he’ll throw five innings or about 75 pitches. He’s scheduled to pitch again for Mississippi on Monday, going six innings or 90 pitches.
That’s one reason Sheets is pitching in Mississippi rather than Triple-A Gwinnett because the Gwinnett Braves are off on Monday. Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said he was hoping Sheets would pitch in Gwinnett Monday so he could go and watch him.
But reports from Braves officials who watched Sheets throw on the side, as well as the five-inning simulated game he threw Thursday at Georgia Tech, have been good. His fastball was clocked at 91, 92 mph, close to where it was before his two elbow surgeries.
“Everybody who saw him pitch was impressed by him,” Gonzalez said. “I think it’s great upside. You’ve got nothing to lose and a lot of stuff to gain if he’s healthy. Frank (Wren) said it best, that he reminded him of Ben Sheets.”
Sheets was a four-time All-Star with the Milwaukee Brewers and started the 2008 game for the National League.
If all goes well these next two starts, the Braves think Sheets could be ready to join the Braves rotation shortly after the All-Star break.
- Reliever Peter Moylan threw for the second time Tuesday for the Gulf Coast League Braves in his comeback from rotation cuff surgery. Moylan threw one inning, giving up a bloop single, and striking out one on 13 pitches.