Sheets could start Sunday for Braves

KANSAS CITY – After nearly two years away from baseball followed by two Double-A starts, Ben Sheets could make his return to the big leagues for the Braves on Sunday.

Having impressed team officials in two starts for Double-A Mississippi, the 34-year-old former Milwaukee ace will throw a side session at Turner Field on Thursday before the Braves decide whether to start him Sunday against the Mets, or have him make another minor league start.

He is expected to replace one of the Braves’ inconsistent young starters, Mike Minor or Randall Delgado. The Braves have also scouted several pitchers as trade possibilities, including Milwaukee’s Zack Greinke and the Cubs’ Ryan Dempster and Matt Garza.

Sheets, a four-time former All-Star, signed a minor league deal with the Braves after drawing interest from a handful of teams including the Yankees, who also made him an offer. He has a 5.06 ERA in two starts for Mississippi, allowing 12 hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts in 10-2/3 innings, and his fastball velocity has topped out at 93 mph.

He worked 5-2/3 innings Monday against Birmingham and allowed one unearned run until the sixth, when he was charged with two earned runs after a botched back end of a would-be double play. The second earned run scored after he left the game.

50 comments Add your comment

Robby fresh

July 10th, 2012
9:00 pm

Josh

July 10th, 2012
9:02 pm

Jo

July 10th, 2012
9:03 pm

Sheets sh!ts, really? It will take him time to come back, time we dont have.

count_schemula

July 10th, 2012
9:08 pm

It’s come to this.

DerekZ

July 10th, 2012
9:09 pm

I have a feeling this SHEETS experiment will be anything but DOUBLE PITS TO CHESTY.

Robby fresh

July 10th, 2012
9:15 pm

Looks like doodoo. Tastes like doodoo. Must be doodoo

Kevin

July 10th, 2012
9:18 pm

What were Jurrjens minor league stats before he came back to the bigs and pitched solid? Hudson got knocked around in the minors as well. It doesn’t mean anything.

chip 2012 as mvp

July 10th, 2012
9:18 pm

Hes got to be better than the two young arms. You guys can doubt all you want but hes a veteran arm. Hes got more experience and can probably end up going deeper in games than delgado or minor. You think those 2 can carry the back end ha thats a joke

David

July 10th, 2012
9:20 pm

When he was healthy, he was nasty. My view is what can it hurt?

shawn B

July 10th, 2012
9:21 pm

Can’t see this one turning out well. A pitcher out of baseball for 2 yrs after shoulder surgery is likely to be as inconsistent as the youngsters. Got to get a front line starter…all signs point to ZG

Zing

July 10th, 2012
9:25 pm

He can’t be worse than Minor has been… (Hopefully, those aren’t famous last words.)

Mike

July 10th, 2012
9:26 pm

If the guy is hitting 93(not far off the 95 he was hitting when healthy) and his curve has similar bite to it, there is not way his comeback should take THAT long. He threw 89 pitches yesterday, not far off of 100 and the start before that he threw about 75. His command seems pretty good 10 K vs 1 BB in 10.2 IP. If Sheets is even 80% of what he was when in his prime and healthy he is a good addition for the Braves. If Atlanta manages to land Grienke and JJ can continue pitching well I believe the rotation could be Grienke, Hanson, Hudson, JJ, and Sheets. That is pretty solid given Sheets may be a #3 starter right now.

TigerinATL

July 10th, 2012
9:27 pm

If this works, it will be the signing of the century – If not, it will remind us of so many other washed vets FW has grabbed in recent years. I hope for the first, but fear the later.

DiamondbackMac

July 10th, 2012
9:38 pm

Josh

How can two teams with the exact same record have different winning percentages? Mets & Braves

Mike

July 10th, 2012
9:39 pm

You know what is funny? All the hatred of Frank Wren. “Under GM Frank Wren the Braves won more games while spending less money than every team but the Rays from 2009-11.” Not every GM is going to win a WS but Wren has at least given the Braves a chance.

John Leonard

July 10th, 2012
9:40 pm

Worth a try.

tom.hawk

July 10th, 2012
10:12 pm

Minor and Delgado isn’t going to cut it…it’s worth a shot

Ben

July 10th, 2012
10:15 pm

Thanks Josh. A real oracle of delphi you got over there. Sucks we’ll finish one game behind the cards and miss the final wild card spot. Where on earth could that notion have come from. Probably had to break out a couple 8 balls for such clairvoyance, one to make that ground breaking prediction and another to give him the mental fortitude to figure out how to type all of that garbage into a spreadsheet.

Anybody’s guess on how Sheets or the team will do the rest of the season. All these joker on here who act like they know so much about where the season is heading actually only how to do one thing well on this board, and thats show their ass.

That being said, there’s nothing wrong with some lighthearted, constructive analysis. Just read this over at CBS:

“Crusty Sheets is more like it…dudes got more wear and tear than a flop house mattress…..yeah he may flash a glimmer of his once dominant self….but dont count on him to lead you to the promised land…..”

Well Said Sir. Well f’n said.

FJ10

July 10th, 2012
10:28 pm

That’s analysis? More like a two bit comic……

bruce

July 10th, 2012
11:13 pm

good news, impressive to only need two starts…. new standard for Spring Training?

Columbus

July 10th, 2012
11:17 pm

Doubt he is ready to pitch in the bigs as well as JJ, Minor and Delgado have pitched the last 1-2 weeks….Keep him in the minors until needed. Certainly do NOT need him after the time off this week…He is insurance and there is no need to rush him at this point. Things have went well with ALL starters recently. The young guys have pitched much better and MIGHT have turned the corner/. Bring back Sheets SLOW since we can….

DELGADO, MINOR AND JJ HAVE ALL PITCHED WELL IN THEIR LAST 2 STARTS. DONT GIVE UP ON EITHER OF THEM. IM NOT YOUNG OR DUMB OR EMOTIONAL LIKE MANY OF THE IMPATIENT POSERS/POSTERS ON HERE….The same ones were probably cussing JJ coming back before he ptiched very well in his starts. Delgado nad Minor have done the same dang thing in case you havent watched o paid attntion recently. GM’s you will never make.

Sheets is insurance who might REALLY help if needed or add a 5th starter. Medlin was insurance too but he wasnt needed either FYI because things have gone WELL recently. In case you havent noticed….

Warren Spahn

July 10th, 2012
11:18 pm

give him a shot.

msucurt04

July 10th, 2012
11:54 pm

JJ’s replacement as soon as he’s traded

Harry

July 11th, 2012
12:45 am

Trade one of the young guys for Dwight Howard

menate12

July 11th, 2012
12:47 am

Minor has shown signs of improvement the last couple of games but the bats have been there too. In his day Sheets was one of the best. Hard to say now but maybe he can do for the Braves what he did against them in the past.

mace224

July 11th, 2012
1:30 am

I still think Minor is going to improve.. I’m not sold on Delgado.

mace224

July 11th, 2012
1:33 am

Further Problems: Shortstop: Pastornicky or Wilson?

Higg Papi

July 11th, 2012
2:18 am

Exactly mace. The shortstop question is the most pressing issue on this team right now. Personally, I think a trade for a Brendan Ryan-type defensive ss could help the team. I just don’t see any use for Jack Wilson anymore. Even his defense has declined. Let’s promote Pastornicky, get him some ABs, lose Wilson, and add Ryan. If Pastornicky comes up hitting, let him start most games until Simmons comes back. If he’s just too awful in the field, give the job to Ryan.

eddie57

July 11th, 2012
7:00 am

All you “fans” ready to throw Minor under the bus should think about another young lefthander in his 1st full season finishing 7-17 with a 4.56 ERA. I remember shuddering whenever he pitched in the 1st half that year. Does the name Tom Glavine ring a bell in anyone’s mind? Don’t waste prospects on a 2 1/2 month rental of any of the pitchers mentioned, we’ve been down the panic mode too often in the past.

Denny LeMaster

July 11th, 2012
8:43 am

Another worthless, over the hill, broken down veteran pitcher in the Denny McLain, and a VERY long list of other broken down, sore armed, over the hill pitchers the stupid, and I mean STUPID management of the sorry Braves sign thinking the guy will come back and be another Sandy Kofax for them. The Braves have a HUGE and LONG history of these stupid signings for years upon years. All through their history they have done this and NONE of them have worked out. They simply NEVER EVER learn. Never.

Orange Brave f/k/a Billy Jack's BBQ

July 11th, 2012
9:34 am

93. That says it all. Can’t coach speed.

[...] Sheets Could Start Sunday Right-hander Ben Sheets, whom the Atlanta Braves recently acquired and assigned to Double-A Mississippi, could actually start for the Braves as soon as this Sunday, reports David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He would likely replace either Mike Minor or Randall Delgado on the roster, reports O’Brien. Here’s Sheets’ line through two Double-A starts: 10.2 IP, 45 TBF, 10 K, 1 BB, 0 HR, 12 H. [...]

billy bob baseball

July 11th, 2012
10:57 am

If Sheets doesn’t cut it as a pitcher, use him as a pinch hitter for Wilson, he cannot do worse, or let Henske go and use Sheets in his role, again he can’t be worse.

Mike Brave

July 11th, 2012
11:01 am

Give Sheets a chance. If it doesn’t work out, we always have Minor or Delgado :) (LOL). I would take Sheets right now over the two above options. He might just surprise you guys. If healthy and on his game, he is lights out. Just give it a chance. Not a bad gamble…

iopbrave

July 11th, 2012
12:14 pm

Let’s bring back Len Barker- I still remember he had a pitch get away from him and fly over the net behind home plate

HAL

July 11th, 2012
2:18 pm

sighn anyone still living who played for the kansas city monarcks that would please the racisists on this blog lol

Nerdville

July 11th, 2012
3:50 pm

So ‘over the hill’ Ben Sheets is going to get a start… I should have figured it. It’s about how the Braves do things these days. I tell you, if the Braves were a tire shop they’d sell nothing but retreads.

alanfalcon

July 11th, 2012
4:44 pm

It’s Minor or Degado back to the G-Braves, my guess its delgado because we need a lefty in the rotation.

alanfalcon

July 11th, 2012
4:45 pm

Joey Mele

July 11th, 2012
5:07 pm

I happen to like both Minor and Delgado. I think they are going to be quality 2 starters occupying the 3rd and 4th starters spots. Pitch selection has been an issue for Delgado while Minor seems to have location issues from time to time. The only way signing Sheets can hurt us is if his days as a major league player are behind him and we keep giving him the ball every 5th day. This may sound weird, but maybe Simmons taking some DL time could be a good thing. Fatigue is a major issue for young players in August and September. Let’s maintain calm, promote Pastornicky, and look for a bench player to help offset the struggling Hinske and Diaz. I would also like to see us get another arm for the pen. Venters should come back to form. This is not panic time. Lots of baseball yet to be played. Remember, we played a lot of our games without our starting 1B, 3B, C, and now SS. Yet, we are in 2nd place. Breathe fans. We will win the division.

HOF 10

July 11th, 2012
7:57 pm

Sheets, yes. Flip a coin on which rookie to send down. Shortstop has to be Pastornicky. It’s a fill-in assignment. I don’t think you make a trade for a guy to replace an injured starter who will be back in five or six weeks.

John Lenin

July 12th, 2012
12:40 am

All we are sayyying…is give Sheets a chance.

RBrave

July 12th, 2012
7:43 am

I like Minor, he usually does well through the first 3 or 4 innings, so we know he can get major leaugers out. Has some trouble second time through, needs to make some adjustments then, I like his approach, maybe he can turn on the light like someone said the way Glavin did. We’ve let several pitchers go that had good upside like Wainwright. Not sure if Sheets is the answer, rather lose with the young guys while they are learning. Big question mark at short, don’t like trading away prosphects for a stop gap aka Texeria. I hope we have a consistant 2 nd half.The first half we looked like world beaters for 4 games then just plain suck and then look good again. Get it together and win the division and then won’t have to worry about the wild card situation

Kashi

July 12th, 2012
12:20 pm

I would pair Sheets+(minor or delgado) to get to 8 inngs.

sg10

July 12th, 2012
1:09 pm

Before we judge FW and braves about Sheets, we should recognize that this is fairly common. Remember Smoltz and Brad Penney were signed by Red Sox for 5 million each?
Braves have nothing to lose with this minor leage deal. I would say give him more than 1 start and see how that works out. In fact, kudos to the Braves for convincing Sheets who had offer to pitch for the Yankees and get to the postseason.

slugger

July 12th, 2012
1:20 pm

Wow Derek with the O.G. blog post of the day.

Fitting for the return of sheets we get the return of the double pits.

Well played.

[...] Sheets could be starting for the Braves on Sunday. There is not one format that I can comfortable recommend Sheets to you. [...]

DaleMurphytothehall!!!

July 12th, 2012
5:39 pm

Minor league is where a pitcher piches innings. Hard hit balls find gaps in the minors and gloves in the majors. I for one have a good feeling about this move.

[...] Sheets could be starting for the Braves on Sunday. There is not one format that I can comfortable recommend Sheets to you. [...]

[...] • Sheets appears likely to pitch for Atlanta on Sunday against the Mets. It would mark his first major league action since July 19, 2010 with Oakland. Read more in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. [...]

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