Rehabbing Sheets works out for scouts
Right-hander throws about 50 pitches, says he is healthy
Right-hander Ben Sheets, who missed all of 2009 because of elbow surgery, said he is healthy and felt great after a pitching session in front of several scouts Tuesday at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.
"For me, it was necessity to be ready for today. I had to do this," Sheets said in an interview on MLB Network after the workout. "I had to come out here and prove my health. Like I said, I hope I looked as good as I felt because I felt really good and have been feeling really good. The only way for people to believe it is to show them."
Sheets, who had surgery on the flexor tendon in his right elbow last February, went 86-83 with a 3.72 ERA in his first eight seasons in the Major Leagues, notching double-digit wins seven times and finishing with an ERA under 4.00 in each of his past five seasons. In '08, he went 13-9 with a 3.09 ERA in 31 starts for the Brewers.
According to a report on AOL Fanhouse, Sheets first threw 20 fastballs in the workout, topping out at 91 mph. He then threw another 20 pitches, half of them curveballs. In his third session, Sheets' fastball topped out at 88 mph and the pitcher looked "gassed," the report said. Sheets is believed to be seeking a two-year deal.
"I had a good showing today and I showed them what I got," Sheets said. "I welcomed them to stay because a big part of being healthy is being able to recover ... At this point now, I'm only getting better. Each day, I'm only getting healthier. I'm bouncing back really good."
One scout told AOL Fanhouse that Sheets "threw very well. He threw easy."
According to the report, the Cubs, Mets and Rangers are the favorites to sign Sheets. The Dodgers, Phillies, Blue Jays and Reds were also present at the workout while Oakland had multiple people at the session, the website reported.
Additionally, Texas pitching coach Mike Maddux, who coached Sheets in Milwaukee, and Mets physical rehabilitation specialist Chris Correnti watched Sheets throw.
"I've been healthy before in my life and I feel every bit as good as I have in any point of my career," Sheets said. "That's what I judge off of. What happens tomorrow or in seven years from now, I don't know. We are all kind of a walking time bomb and any injury can happen at any time. But at this point, right now, I feel great."
The scout said Sheets "looked good physically and was in good shape," and believes the pitcher should be equal to or ahead of other pitchers when spring training begins next month.
"No red flags," the scout said. "No restrictions. He threw nice and loose."
Sheets said he'd like to pitch for a winning team but that how family-friendly an organization is could also factor into his decision to sign with a club.
Jesse Sanchez is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.