Both Ben Sheets and Kris Medlen went down to the Braves bullpen late in Monday night’s 13-inning marathon but neither had to throw, as Cristhian Martinez got the Braves through the 12th and 13th and Craig Kimbrel was ready to pitch a possible 14th.
But manager Fredi Gonzalez sent both Sheets and Tommy Hanson to the bullpen for possible emergency relief duty Tuesday night. Between them, they have 348 games in the major leagues and zero relief appearances. Sheets said he relieved his freshman year and parts of his sophomore season at Northeast Louisiana. It’s been a while though.
Sheets didn’t throw his usual bullpen session on Tuesday in case he’s needed. He’ll throw a “touch and feel” session if need be on Wednesday.
“Hard to watch a game out there, can’t see,” Sheets joked. “Need some TVs out there.”
Hanson would be the second option. He said he hasn’t pitched in relief with the exception of some spring training games and in 2006 in shortseason Danville, but it was more of a “piggyback” situation, with extended work behind another starter.
“It’s still pitching,” he said. “It’s not that big of a difference.”
The Braves could pitch Mike Minor on his usual rest Friday in Sheets’ spot if necessary, Gonzalez said. The six-man rotation gives him that kind of flexibility.