Braves Sign Ben Sheets to Minor League Deal
Photo courtesy of Chris Roughgarden
Early Sunday the Atlanta Braves signed former Major League superstar pitcher Ben Sheets to minor league contract. The right-hander will be assigned to Double-A Mississippi to begin his journey toward the big leagues. Sheets hasn’t appeared in a Major League Baseball game since July 9, 2010 when he was a member of the Oakland Athletics. Since then, the hurler has undergone Tommy John reconstructive surgery nearly two years ago as he looks to regain his former strength.
Sheets possesses a 90-92 record alongside a 3.79 career ERA, 1.22 WHIP including 1547.1 innings pitched with 1,290 strikeouts to just 356 walks. He’s a four-time All-Star and earned National League Cy Young Award votes in 2004 after posting a sparkling 2.70 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 264/32 K/BB ratio across 237 regular-season innings with the Milwaukee Brewers.
The 33-year-old will head to Double-A Mississippi on Wednesday to begin pitching in live games. Sheets may take time to get ready for Major League hitting, nearly two years after surgery. However, the right-hander has always been a bulldog. If there is any pitcher out there, prepared to make a comeback of epic proportions, it’s Ben Sheets.
Sheets threw a bullpen session at Turner Field on Sunday afternoon prior to the Braves and Washington Nationals game at 1:05 p.m. His next stop will be Mississippi, and then it’s anybody’s guess after that. I know one thing, the Braves have a legitimate competitor who is going to be able to teach the Braves pitching prospects how it’s done and how to be successful at the Major League level.
By: Tony Piraro