MILWAUKEE -- Brewers pitching prospect Johnny Hellweg will travel to Class A Advanced Brevard County next week to continue his comeback from Tommy John surgery, assistant GM Gord Ash said.
Hellweg, who underwent his elbow reconstruction on April 29, 2014, has already pitched a handful of games in extended Spring Training. Brewers officials are encouraged by the velocity readings they've seen from the right-hander, who averaged 93.9 mph with his fastball during a '13 stint with the Brewers but threw even harder in the Minor Leagues.
"[His velocity] is where it was," Ash said. "He had an oblique [strain] in Spring Training that probably cost him 3-4 weeks, but it's within the scope [of the team's original timetable for Hellweg's return]."
If Hellweg continues to make progress, the idea is to promote him to Double-A Biloxi, then to Triple-A Colorado Springs before the end of the season.
Ash had less encouraging news about another hard-throwing prospect, Taylor Williams, who received a platelet-rich plasma injection last week in an effort to treat a right forearm strain that has sidelined him since the end of Spring Training. Williams is in a mandatory shut-down period that follows such treatment.
Asked whether he believed Williams would pitch this season, Ash responded, "I do."
Williams pitched in his first Major League camp this spring and drew raves at the start from established hitters like Ryan Braun and Carlos Gomez. It is impossible to know whether doing too much, too soon contributed to his injury.
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.