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Ben Sheets Impressive In First Start With Mississippi Braves

Ben Sheets is attempting to make a full comeback to Major League Baseball after a two-year hiatus. He signed with the Atlanta Braves on Sunday and prepared to make his first rehab start with the Double-A Mississippi Braves on Wednesday night against the Jackson Generals.

After a rough start to the night, Sheets really settled in and worked five innings. He departed after throwing 74 pitches, 48 of which were strikes.

His fastball sat around 89-93mph, which is pretty similar to what he threw before undergoing arm surgery in 2010. His curveball, a pitch that made him an annual Cy Young contender with the Brewers, looked very good. He only threw a handful of change-ups.

Sheets' final line: 5 innings pitched, four runs, five hits, one walk, six strikeouts. Not too bad for a guy who hadn't pitched in a live game in nearly 24 months. He departed with Mississippi trailing 4-0.

All-in-all, it was a solid return to baseball for the 32-year-old veteran. It really isn't about results with Sheets at this point, just that his pitches look good and he feels healthy. His pitches looked good with the exception of a few elevated fastballs, and all reports indicate he felt fine after departing the game.

Monday is the next scheduled start for Sheets, which will be when the Atlanta Braves are off for the All-Star Break.

For more on Sheets and the Braves, check out Talking Chop.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.