Jeremy Jeffress could always throw hard. That was never the problem. It was everything else that he did that didn't work out for him.
Over the past few weeks, since he came back to Milwaukee, Jeffress has been throwing it hard and getting people out. He's allowed just one earned run in nine appearances in what he hopes will be the beginning of his comeback story.
Because baseball has always loved comeback stories.
Where it began
Jeffress was the Brewers' first-round pick in 2006 out of high school. He always had high potential but never was able to exhibit enough control on the mound or self-restraint off it. He was suspended for drugs and erratic when he wasn't.
That's why a short major league stint with the Brewers in 2010 was all he would get. Jeffress was sent to Kansas City in a deal for Zack Greinke and things never quite worked out.
He spent parts of the past four seasons in Kansas City and Toronto and was finally cut earlier this year by the Blue Jays.
Back in Milwaukee
He had nowhere else to go, but Milwaukee gave Jeffress a shot. They sent him to Triple-A Nashville and he was dominant, with a 1.51 ERA in 30 appearances.
When the Brewers were looking for another power bullpen arm, they decided to give Jeffress another chance.
"I never thought I would be back, I didn't," Jeffress told MLB.com. "I know my time here was a great experience. It was home for me. I felt comfortable here. It was great for me. … I never wanted to leave, but that's the nature of the game, they make trades and all that stuff. It's very much a homecoming for me."
Dealing with success
Jeffress has told reporters that the birth of his daughter is one of the things that inspired him to get things back together.
Now, after finding success, he's got big plans for the future. And, with the way he's been pitching, there's no reason to doubt it.
He wants to eventually be a closer, a job that is held by Francisco Rodriguez for the time being in Milwaukee.
"You can only live by what you do in the future, what's to come," Jeffress told MLB.com. "People have always told me, 'What can happen will happen if you can go out there and play to the best of your ability, keep the off-the-field stuff clean.' Because everybody knew I was a good pitcher and I had the stuff to do it. I just had to put it into play."