Results tagged ‘ Ben Sheets ’

Randall Delgado Heading to the Gwinnett Braves

Photo courtesy of Melinda Pease

Randall Delgado made his final start with the Atlanta Braves for the time being on Saturday. The right-hander started the second game of a doubleheader against the Washington Nationals. With the new Major League rule, when a team has a doubleheader, they can legally have 26 players on the roster to help the stress of the bullpen when playing two games in a day. With the emergence and addition of Ben Sheets to the Braves rotation, Delgado is the odd man out, for now.

The right-hander has been extremely solid during his first full MLB season, posting a 4-9 record with a 4.42 ERA in 17 starts for the Braves in 2012. Delgado has struck out 73 hitters and walked 42 amidst 91.2 innings of work. Opponents are batting .259 off Delgado this year.

Last season with Triple-A Gwinnett, Delgado registered a 2-2 record with a 4.15 ERA in four starts for the G-Braves. He struck out 25 batters while walking just 11 in 21.2 innings pitched for Gwinnett. He went 5-5 with a 3.84 ERA in 21 starts for the Double-A Mississippi Braves.

So far, the transition for Sheets has been better than the Braves ever imagined. The 34-year-old is exceeding expectations as he is 2-0 in his first two starts with zero signs of fatigue or rust settling in. This is a good problem to have for the Atlanta organization, as nobody has ever complained about having too much talented pitching within the organization. For Delgado, it is just a matter of being patient while waiting for his turn once again.

By: Tony Piraro

Ben Sheets off and running for the M-Braves

Photo courtesy of Karl Moore

The four-time Major League Baseball All-Star and 2004 Cy Young runner-up Ben Sheets is on his way to making a comeback to the big leagues. How long will it take is anyone’s guess, but the promising sign is that the right-hander is out there on the mound, competing against hitters. Atlanta signed him for a reason, but it may take some patience as Sheets shakes off the rust.

Coming off two years of rehab following Tommy John surgery, Sheets took the long route back to baseball. The last time he appeared in a game was in 2010 for the Oakland Athletics. That season he went 4-9 with a 4.53 ERA in 119.1 innings of work, where he struck out 84 and walked 43 batters.

The 33-year-old made his first professional baseball start in two years on Wednesday, the Fourth of July, for the Double-A Mississippi Braves. Sheets completed 5.0 innings and surrendered four earned runs on five hits and struck out six, while walking just one en route to the loss against the Jacksonville Suns. The right-hander’s ERA currently rests at 7.20 for the year.

Sheets has been around baseball, seemingly for ages. However, at 33 years old, he is still relatively young and well within in his limits to make a positive return. We saw Pedro Martinez dominate for the Phillies a couple years ago in the second half of the season, after people clamored that Martinez was done. If Jaime Moyer can still find a job at 49 years old, I don’t see why Sheets can’t make a difference in someone’s rotation.

The great thing for us and the Braves is that we’ll have the opportunity to witness the difference he can make in the Atlanta rotation eventually. However, for the time being, he’ll need some practice and repetition to help his confidence. After that, if he’s healthy, the man could be scary good. I’m willing to bet that Sheets is ready to prove that to a lot of people in the coming weeks.

By: Tony Piraro

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