Notes: Sheets feels 'great' after outing
Next start on Thursday; Turnbow discussions continue
PHOENIX -- It was Ben Sheets' first game action in three weeks, but he felt like his old self."Typical start, dude," a relaxed and upbeat Sheets said after pitching in a Minor League game Saturday morning. "Tough first [inning], right?" That has been the trend throughout Sheets' career, but this time it didn't matter. Sheets, who will start the season on the 15-day disabled list with a muscle strain behind his right shoulder, threw 27 pitches against Triple-A players from the San Francisco Giants at Maryvale Baseball Park. He surrendered a two-run home run to Adam Shabala and recorded only one out in the first inning before Brewers pitching coach Mike Maddux cut the frame short -- such is life in Minor League Spring Training. But Sheets was much sharper in his second inning of work and needed only nine pitches to record three outs. "I felt great," Sheets said. "I wanted to go more. I felt like my old self again." Sheets will travel with the rest of the team for Opening Day festivities in Milwaukee, but he will report to a Minor League affiliate to continue his rehab with a start on Thursday. Where might he go? "We don't know yet," general manager Doug Melvin said. "We'll look at the weather reports and make a decision." Triple-A Nashville opens its season on Thursday in Omaha, where the forecast, as of Saturday, called for a high of 70 degrees but a 50 percent chance of scattered thunderstorms. Double-A Huntsville plays its season opener on Thursday at Jackson, Miss., where the forecast calls for cloudy skies and a high of 76. "It doesn't matter," Sheets said. "As long as I get my pitches in, I'm happy." Sheets is nursing a strained back muscle near to but different than the one he tore last August. Since suffering a setback in a game against Oakland on March 9, things have progressed as well as possible, head team physician William Raasch said. "His exam afterwards was real good," Raasch said after Sheets' outing Saturday. "Good strength, no discomfort." Melvin, assistant GM Gord Ash, manager Ned Yost and farm director Reid Nichols were among those observing Sheets' outing. Triple-A Nashville manager Frank Kremblas crouched behind the pitcher's mound calling balls and strikes because an umpire did not show up until the fourth inning. "That was the weirdest thing -- no umpire back there," Sheets said. "I was surprised that I had such good pop in my arm, with low intensity and no adrenaline going. That was a big plus for me."
way better than 50-50 that it will get done," Turnbow said after pitching the ninth inning. "I think they talked again [Saturday]. Maybe in the next few days, it will be done."Turnbow, who tied a franchise record last season with 39 saves, is already signed for 2006. He finished Spring Training with an 8.71 ERA in 11 games. On deck: The team will host "Brewers On Deck" beginning at 10 a.m. CT Sunday at Miller Park. Players and coaches will sign autographs before participating in a 12:30 p.m. workout that's open to the public. The event, including parking, is free. For fans not in attendance, WTMJ-AM 620 will broadcast from the event beginning at 10 a.m., and FSN North will air a one-hour special beginning at 1 p.m.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.