Kyle Sleeth is slated to take the ball for the first time this season in live game action, starting for Lakeland in Brevard County at 7:00pm. Sleeth has spent the past month working on velocity and stretching out in Extended Spring Training (see the report and pictures of the start here).
Expect the Tigers to keep a close eye on Sleeth, likely having him throw mostly fastballs to avoid too much stress on his arm in his first 'real' start. He'll also certainly be limited as far as how deep he'll go into the game.
This is just another step in the typical recovery of a pitcher coming back from Tommy John, and there will certainly be more growing pains along the way. But that shouldn't change the fact that it's another exciting step for Sleeth in his march back.
On another Lakeland note, the Florida State League All Stars were announced earlier this week, with four players making the cut. Starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens, relievers Jeff Hahn and Kevin Whelan, and outfielder Jeff Frazier all were named to the team. The Florida State League All Star game is being held at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland this year. The game is slated for Saturday, June 17th. Tickets are available through Lakeland's ticket office, which can be accessed via LakelandTigers.net.