Braves’ Sheets goes on DL with sore shoulder

SAN FRANCISCO – Ben Sheets gave the Braves’ pitching staff a big boost in July and thinks he could again, but not with his shoulder aching as it has in recent weeks.

The Braves’ feel-good summer story took another detour Saturday when Sheets was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right-shoulder inflammation, a day after he gave up nine hits and four runs in 4-1/3 innings of a 5-2 loss against the San Francisco Giants.

It was the third consecutive loss and fourth in five starts for Sheets (4-4), after he’d been signed off the scrap heap and won his first three starts following nearly two years out of baseball.

“If it was April, I think it’s something I could work through,” Sheets said. “But if it takes you three or four starts to work through, right now we don’t have the luxury to do that. I’m here to help. I’m not here to do anything else. I want to help this team win. Whatever we need to do.

“I know these guys want the pitcher they had at first. And given health, I can do that.”

The Braves recalled journeyman right-hander Miguel Batista from Triple-A Gwinnett to give them another arm in the bullpen.

After going 3-0 with a 0.50 ERA and .200 opponents’ average in three July starts, Sheets is 1-4 with a 5.34 ERA and .322 opponents’ average in five August starts, including 0-3 with a 7.71 ERA in his past three.

“We were trying to give him and a couple of other guys some extra time with the six-man rotation,” said Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez, adding that some outside the organization who had questioned his decision to go with a sixth starter for a couple of weeks weren’t privy to the health status of a few Braves starters.

“It’s nothing serious,” he said of Sheets’ situation. “It’s an arm that’s been out of baseball for two years. It’s a heavy workload, and it’s had some history. I don’t think it’s a major thing, but I think by him going on the 15-day DL and doing his thing – and I don’t know if that’s a shot or just rest or treatment, or whatever – could recharge him a little.”

The Braves’ six-man rotation will revert to five with Tim Hudson, Paul Maholm, Kris Medlen, Tommy Hanson and Mike Minor. They would have otherwise had to make a decision whom to drop from the rotation after the current trip ends Wednesday, and Sheets’ recent struggles would’ve made him a candidate to be the odd man out anyway.

Sheets, 34, had career-threatening elbow surgery in 2010, a procedure that involved not just ulnar collateral ligament-transplant surgery (aka “Tommy John” surgery) but also the repair of other soft-tissue damage. After nearly two years away, he decided to try to pitch again after feeling good when he threw batting practice to his son.

The Braves and Yankees were among the teams that offered minor-league contracts after watching Sheets throw in a tryout. After signing with the Braves – he’s being paid the prorated portion of a $2.25 million salary, which amounts to about $1 million — and making just two minor-league starts, Sheets was inserted in the rotation after the All-Star break.

He pitched six scoreless innings in each of his first two starts and allowed just one run in six innings in his third start. Sheets surrendered 11 hits and three earned runs in his fourth start Aug. 1 against Miami, then the former fireballer did something no one would’ve thought possible years ago, failing to record a single strikeout in 7-1/3 innings of a game at Philadelphia. Still, he allowed just seven hits and one run in that win.

But since then it’s been a struggle for Sheets, who allowed 21 hits, five homers and six walks in 16-1/3 innings over his past three starts.

Asked when the shoulder became problematic, Sheets said, “It’s been a couple of starts — probably before Philly. But I mean, I still pitched a good game. But yesterday, when you make pitches and you don’t get anybody out, to me that’s kind of alarming. If I’m going to help this team, it’s going to be at 100 percent. Like I told myself, if we had three starters I could keep going out there. But we’ve got five or six. We’ve got enough to cover it right now.”

Gonzalez said he didn’t know what role Sheets would have once he comes off the DL, but mentioned that could be used as a spot starter to give another pitcher a rest.

“He pitched four wins, and some of those wins he was dominant,” Gonzalez said. “Even some games he lost, he was a tough-luck loser. So I think he can help us, where maybe two weeks down the road one of our other guys may need a blow. At that point you’ve got [expanded rosters], so you don’t have to make a move other than just say, ‘Hey, you’re not pitching today because you’re a little slow; we’ll plug in Sheets.’ Or whatever you want to do.”

Sheets said the irony was that his body overall had begun to feel better in the past week.

“My whole body had started to ache,” he said. “[But] everything has started to turn for the better. Except [the shoulder]. That got left behind… I’ve dealt with [shoulder and elbow issues] my whole life. Normally, could you pitch through it? Yeah. And you can kind of make a turn for the better. But we [Braves] don’t have that kind of time. We’ve got options. I don’t need to be going out there hoping to get somebody out.”

62 comments Add your comment

lee maye

August 25th, 2012
5:05 pm

Now, if we can only get Uggla on the DL for something, we might have a chance. Wren and Fredi never learn though. Instead of bringing Gearin back up, they bring another washed up bum, Bautista up. And, don’t tell me they couldn’t bring Gearin up. In case of injury, you can bring a player up before the 10 day period.

lee maye

August 25th, 2012
5:12 pm

Uggla 0-2 with another K today. .207
Johnson has a hit. If he had been in LF on Friday, Braves may have won.

JHey 3 run homer; hottest Brave hitter, but Fredi rests him on Thurs. What an idiot.

Minor with a Shutout through 3. Need this one badly.

Offer to Cubs: Uggla, Hanson, McCann, and JJ for Soriano. Make it now.

lee maye

August 25th, 2012
5:14 pm

Uggla to go on DL with injured back from uppercut or injured left arm from swinging one handed or injured brain. Trade this bum now.

chas

August 25th, 2012
5:14 pm

WHY CANT UGGLA GO WITH SHEETS . THIS IS THE ONLY WAY THAT HE CAN HELP THE TEAM. IT IS SICKING TO WATCH UGGLA PLAY

JC Boscan III

August 25th, 2012
5:15 pm

Hopefully, some rest will put Sheets in place to help us during the last 3 weeks of the season. We may have to fight off several teams for the wild card, and his experience could help………. Even though last night’s box score wasn’t good for him, there were numerous plays that the defense just didn’t make. Get well….!

On another note, how can we continue with Uggla if he doesn’t turn it around very, very soon?! Our lineup has enough weak spots in it already, especially against lefties………

lee maye

August 25th, 2012
5:19 pm

Minor 1 hit shutout after 4. He is pitching through his mistakes and learning period. Should have done the same with Delgado and we would be better off.

Don’t count on this win too quickly though. With this team, Fredi can still screw up a 3 run lead. He could take Johnson out and put Hinske in left, the next inning. You never know with Fruit Fredi.

TP for manager now.

74bravesjersey

August 25th, 2012
5:27 pm

Dang! Still cringe seen hanson out there, now this will really solidify him as a starter.

BF54

August 25th, 2012
5:27 pm

I am pulling for him to win a couple more for us this year

Steve

August 25th, 2012
5:27 pm

Offer to Cubs: Uggla, Hanson, McCann, and JJ for Soriano. Make it now.

MORON. .262 average and he is 36. Yea that trade would make sense. Plus his salary is $19 million.

Largo

August 25th, 2012
5:40 pm

Man on third, Freeman at the plate and Heyward tries to steal second taking the bat out of
Freddie’s hand by getting called out. Dumb!!

lee maye

August 25th, 2012
5:46 pm

Uggla 0-3 .206 “Got to get him going” lol

lee maye

August 25th, 2012
5:49 pm

Steve, you are the moron. I know Soriano makes 19 mil. WE would get rid of 30 mil in return. We would be the one benefiting the most because Soriano can hit a little. Better than .206 fool. Get a clue. WE need to find some foolish team to take Uggla.

StingerSplash

August 25th, 2012
6:01 pm

Mike Minor has now scored more runs in this game than Struggla has in his last 10 games.

Duh-Uggla

August 25th, 2012
6:02 pm

Pretty bad when you are thinking ‘at least we cleared the 2nd baseman’ at the end of an inning :(

lee maye

August 25th, 2012
6:07 pm

Minor with double, Bourn drives him in with single. 4-1 in 7th. Can we hold it?

As for the proposed trade, Steve, Cubs are the only team that might be dumb enough to go for it. We need a RH LF to move Prado to 2nd. Braves would get rid of Uggla, McCann, JJ, and Hanson. That is about 30 mil that is going to be real hard to move. Cubs need a C. That would then give Wren about 46 mil for next year to resign Bourn and find a 3B if it is not Francisco. More importantly, it would rid the Braves of Uggla.

Duh-Uggla

August 25th, 2012
6:11 pm

If Uggla moved to the American League could the AL team use a Designated Hitter for him? Or does that only apply to the pitcher?

LaBrenda Chenile Watson

August 25th, 2012
6:13 pm

Dan Uggla was driving the team bus and he wrecked it. The next day, they asked him to drive the new bus and he wrecked it. The following day, they asked Dan to drive the newest bus and he wrecked it. The day after that, they asked Dan Uggla to drive the latest new bus and he wrecked it. Another day passed and they asked Dan Uggla to drive the team bus and he wrecked it. The moral of this story is you know what you’ve got with Dan Uggla and it is time to get him off the bus.

JHarber

August 25th, 2012
6:26 pm

iF ANYONE HERE HAD ANY DOUBT ABOUT FREDDI BEING A GOD DAM IDIOT HE SHOULD HAVE SOLVED THAT DOUBT.

Duh-Uggla

August 25th, 2012
6:31 pm

@LaBrenda – Freddi’s driving the bus with a Dan Uggla flat tire and can’t bring himself to pull it off the wheel and throw it on the side of the highway where it belongs.

bostonbravo

August 25th, 2012
6:37 pm

UGGLA….HAH!

bostonbravo

August 25th, 2012
6:38 pm

Tim McCarver…TORTURE!!!!!!

bostonbravo

August 25th, 2012
6:39 pm

and Here Comes HINSKE…

J-MAN

August 25th, 2012
6:40 pm

I woulnt doubt Hinske his into a DP. Well he will a least strike out. Pitch hit Chipper already

bostonbravo

August 25th, 2012
6:40 pm

McCarver = paid by the word.

Uggla = paid by bicep circumference?

bostonbravo

August 25th, 2012
6:43 pm

we are spared Hinske…for now

bostonbravo

August 25th, 2012
6:45 pm

see we got Batista…another slick move by Wren! Maybe he gets Clemens in a week or 2?

bostonbravo

August 25th, 2012
6:46 pm

Pretty sure this Batista guy is the one Castro overthrew many years ago…may be wrong…

bostonbravo

August 25th, 2012
6:48 pm

uhoh…Wren bringing in Batista to overthrow Fredi G!!! (Inside Edition)

lee maye

August 25th, 2012
6:48 pm

Chipper can’t even pitchhit today? If he can, Fredi is an idiot. Well, even if he can’t, Fredi is an idiot. Bourn walk. We get free run. We need it.

lee maye

August 25th, 2012
7:16 pm

Uggla 0-4 .206 Hopefully, on the bench for tomorrow night’s game

Doesn’t need to play

sandiegodawg

August 25th, 2012
8:06 pm

hated the Uggla/Infante trade- Quick- somebody make me the GM.

Speedy

August 25th, 2012
8:08 pm

Lee maye……bet Uggla can whip ur azz! I know u never played the game moron

Amber Girl

August 25th, 2012
8:16 pm

BRAVES WIN! BRAVES WIN!! MR Heyward go Yicketty

the truth...

August 25th, 2012
8:21 pm

We need to get Sheets to talk to Uggla and explain to him what it means to understand when you cannot help your team like you are at this point.

Clearly Uggla can no more help the Braves at the plate right now than Ben can on the mound.

Come on big man Dan stand up and be the man inside that your over pumped body is outside…..

the truth...

August 25th, 2012
8:30 pm

That means sit yourself down Dan, since your Daddy is afraid to do it himself…..

Red&Black

August 25th, 2012
8:35 pm

Sheets was the odd man out in the six man rotation anyway. Anyone who says it should be Hanson, please just go away.

Jlew

August 25th, 2012
8:36 pm

Benching someone that is hurting the team is the manager’s job. If only we had one.

Amber Girl

August 25th, 2012
8:38 pm

Guys, It is OK to Vent, but does it have to be so harsh.

Jlew

August 25th, 2012
8:38 pm

Come on Fredi, Do your job!

Jlew

August 25th, 2012
8:40 pm

Yeah, because Hanson has been pitching great, right?

bravesgawker

August 25th, 2012
9:02 pm

Uggla 0-4 today? Imagine that.

Jlew

August 25th, 2012
9:09 pm

Tomorrow, I’ll bet we won’t see Johnson in left and Prado at 2nd.

Yickitty

August 25th, 2012
9:14 pm

127 games into the season, Dan Uggla’s batting average is less than his weight. Fredi’s baseball IQ is less than his shoe size to keep playing him. Move Prado to 2B where he was an ALL-STAR and put Reed Johnson in LF. Instant offensive and defensive improvement. It’s too late in the season and they are too far behind the Nationals to keep babying Uggla.

Teddy B

August 25th, 2012
9:33 pm

Get better soon Ben. The guy pitched great in those games he won, hope he can get back to doing that again. He just needs to work through his soreness and see how he feels after some rest.

How ’bout that Heyward guy? M-O-N-S-T-E-R! I love watching J-Hey blast homers all the time now, he’s really coming around and playing like the #1 rated prospect he was in 2010. As long as he avoids injury, we have our next big threat here in ATL!

Lobosolo

August 25th, 2012
10:08 pm

Could lee maye and J-MAN please tell us why they’re not managing somewhere… Is it because teams won’t touch them because there’s no crying in baseball, and these two cry themselves dry on daily basis?… baseball isn’t for pusslies, whimpsters… wat past time for you two to find something you’re not so freakishly stupid about…. FREAKISHLY STUPID…. and this widdle puddy cried wah, wah, wah, all the way home………..

Amber Girl

August 25th, 2012
10:16 pm

MR. Lobosolo You are very hilarious. LOL DUMB Amber has no idea what you are saying.

RaleighDawg

August 25th, 2012
11:53 pm

Anyone else notice Chipper sitting out coincides with his recent 5 for 23 stint…I promise you, if his average drops to .300 he’ll develop another “back” problem to protect his average…and who says the Braves don’t have a team leader ?

TheOnlyBravesFan

August 26th, 2012
12:36 am

GP GS CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB SO W L SV HLD BLSV WHIP ERA
47 0 0 0 47.0 18 6 6 2 12 83 0 1 31 0 2 0.64 1.15

TheOnlyBravesFan

August 26th, 2012
12:39 am

GP GS CG SHO IP H R ER HR BB SO W L SV HLD BLSV WHIP ERA
47 0 0 0 47.0 18 6 6 2 12 83 0 1 31 0 2 0.64 1.15

Voice of Reason

August 26th, 2012
3:46 am

Some of the people on here have no clue….first of all baseball is not a knee jerkreaction sport, so its patience that wins the game. Uggla has been awful down the stretch but we are not moving the one guy who truly can fill in for Chipper if something happens to a position that is taken a beating like a 2nd baseman to much to risk. They are trying to tread water till Simmons gets back and his bat will add to the lineup. Next we are NOT trading Mccann even ROSS says he is not an everyday catcher so get over yourself, if we had another option Brian would be on the dL because he is hurt!! Chipper is a 1st ballot HOF but we still have idiots who trash him these are the same guys who lifted the flag in high school before the football game and swore they could be just as good as the starting QB. The Braves have not played well going 2-6 over their last 8 but have not lost but a half game in division and stayed where they were in the wildcard so folks try to relax and let it play out. By the wy nice win yesterday Bravos and it looks as though we have our next at least Steve Avery and may be Tom Glavine in Mike Minor who seems to have finally got over the hump!!

jl

August 26th, 2012
7:49 am

Anyone think Uggla ever has watched himself on tape, if so man, can’t he see how terrible his swing is? He has absolutely no eye for baseball, dumb ass swings at anything and everything, hoping he might make contact. I can sit in front of TV and call what pitch to throw him, because I know damn well he will swing at it no matter where the ball is.

This guy is worse than a little league player. Please someone on Braves tell him he really needs to go down to at least AAA to try to get some kind of swing. Horrible ball player, to be paid that ridiculous amount of money.

CSP

August 26th, 2012
7:53 am

Maybe Uggla could hit the ball if he stopped dancing around with his feet while flipping his bat forward during the delivery. Just try standing still once and see, Dan.

Ekim

August 26th, 2012
9:32 am

I’m sure that Dan has been waiting for and appreciates your advice, CSP.

Ray

August 26th, 2012
9:50 am

Nice win yesterday by the Braves. Minor did a terrific job. Solid defense and timely hitting along with the performance of the pitching staff. See its always that easy. Hopefully Braves can split the series tonight.

D from Charleston, SC

August 26th, 2012
10:09 am

ATTN BRAVES Fans: Will Dan Uggla and Brian McCann cost Atlanta a shot at postseason glory? Newest blog at http://bravesbanter.com/. Update on the Starting Pitcher rotation battle… Who is the odd man out as of today, and would Kris Medlen be the Game 1 starter of a playoff series?? Old favs like how to score Hank Aaron seats for UNDER $50 and eat&drink for FREE at Turner! All at http://bravesbanter.com/…. Don’t Stop the Chop!!!

RBI

August 26th, 2012
1:37 pm

Wow, what a surprise! Sheets to DL.

1991 braves

August 26th, 2012
1:59 pm

Braves on big stage once again tonight on ESPN. They have looked like a deer in the headlights the last 3 or 4 Sunday night games on ESPN or the Saturday Fox game. But hey, no need to worry, the braves have their ace(NOT) Hudson going. What is the over/under Hudson and braves fall behind early and have to play catchup the whole game? Sooner or later Hudson needs to step up and be the stopper for this team. He is the veteran on the staff now, and he needs to start pitching like it. If braves can split this series, it will make the road trip respectable so far. Loss this game and this series, and the road trip could be a disaster. Time to step up Hudson.

Peter R.

August 26th, 2012
2:35 pm

What are the braves going to do if Hanson goes down? Who will they bring up from the minors? Delgado, Teheran, JJ? My best bet would be Delgado. Tommy’s WHIP is way out of whack. A run and a half per inning is not good my friends. Hopefully he doesn’t wind up needing tommy john surgery or shoulder surgery. That would suck so bad. He was so good when he was a rookie, wtf happened? Hanson’s ERA since coming back hasn’t been pretty either. Maybe Sheets can come back in a couple of weeks and plug the hole, so to speak. I’m really glad the trade with the Cubs worked out. :) Go Braves!

Denny Lemaster

August 26th, 2012
3:57 pm

The Braves history in Atlanta is full of over the hill, broken down, players who are not what the Braves thought they were. This team’s history is full of failures in these areas. Way too many for a really true and knowledgeable fan to endure. This team, its leadership and ownership mean one thing, another failure in Atlanta. ONE WS championship in over 45 years in Atlanta. The stinking Falcons have gone to ONE super bowl and got blown out, and the totally sorry Hawks have not been to an NBA final in over 50 years!!! This city is burned by losers. I don’t know of any other major league city that has this many total losers. The Braves have been nothing but a tease. A total loser of an organization. Period.

chris watson

August 26th, 2012
5:23 pm

Look there is no getting around Dan Uglla hitting .207 while at the same time having a huge drop off in power numbers but there are certain ways to look at….this way being the most negative. If you want to look at it from a different angle it isn’t quite as bad as it seems at first glance…I mean his on base percentage is higher than Michael Bourne’s and as much as average, OBP, slugging pctg., OBPS are important the commodity in baseball is a run and he at or near the top of the team in a combination of RBI & runs scored.

BartBuzz

August 26th, 2012
7:05 pm

Soriano?? Who bets the farm on a 36-year-old with probably only a couple of years left? McCann will rebound. Now Tommy Hanson and JJ are another story. With the up-and-coming Braves pitchers it might be possible to deal them in the off season. Tommy Hanson has peaked IMO. He’s never going to be as dominant as I had expected. Trading Dan Uggly is going to be problematic. The Braves will have to eat part of his salary. But he’s definitely not helping the team. Why he’s not on the bench confirms that Fredi G isn’t the manager the Braves had hyped.

[...] ROTATION: Well, that didn’t last long. Ben Sheets is on the disabled list, which is where Braves pitchers who stop pitching well land. So now there’s no real debate [...]

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