MILWAUKEE -- On Monday, four years after his final Brewers win, Ben Sheets returned to the Miller Park mound.
Sheets' return to the ballpark he called home for eight years began with a two-inning simulated game. Though he said he "didn't dominate," the outing went well, a positive step toward getting the 34-year-old right-hander back in a game.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez said that Sheets threw between 20 and 30 pitches, but neither was sure of the exact number.
"I had to get three outs. So probably somewhere between 70 and 100 pitches," Sheets joked.
Sheets said that although his shoulder felt good, he "didn't want to show off too much."
After losing three consecutive starts, Sheets went on the 15-day disabled list in late August, hoping to rest for a couple of weeks before regaining his effectiveness. Sheets said that he is willing to contribute in any way possible.
His next appearance will likely be in relief, though he could see a spot start if needed due to a rainout or an injury.
"We'll see where he's at tomorrow and the next day," Gonzalez said. "If he feels good, we'll probably plug him into the bullpen somewhere.
"That's the great thing about him. He told me, 'Whatever you need me to do.'"
Sheets won four of his first five Atlanta starts before losing the next three. The final one, in which he allowed four earned runs over 4 1/3 innings, prompted the decision to rest his fatigued right arm.
Though it might seem that not pitching would make for a bittersweet return to Milwaukee, Sheets doesn't see it that way.
"Couldn't have picked a better day. It's beautiful outside," he said. "I pitched here so long. If I don't have to pitch against them, I'd prefer not to."