Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sheets to the AL

Thankfully, Ben Sheets landed on a team that isn't in the NL; so the Crew won't have to face him for at least half of the upcoming season. Earlier today he signed with the Oakland Athletics for a 1-year deal worth 10MM. Not too shabby considering that he hasn't pitched since September of 2008. The A's should be a good fit for him. They rely heavily on stats and should be able to gauge his arm strength and endurance better than most teams. Pitch count is key for Ben Sheets, that is for sure. There were times that Ned Yost left him out there too long; certainly adding to his problems.

The thing with Sheets is that he wants to throw complete games every time he's out there (so it seemed). Sure, it's nice to have him do it....but you just don't know if his arm can handle it. He is a thick-headed #1 pitcher who doesn't like to be taken out of games. What he needs to do is suck up his pride and come out when his pitch count reaches a pre-determine point. Ned Yost and Mike Maddux would always cave in to him, in my opinion, thus allowing him to put added stress on his fragile arm. Let's face it, that arm is excellent at 90-100%....one of the best in the NL and near the top in the AL.

He will do just fine in Oaktown and will prove to the league and Milwaukee that he still has it. Granted, the A's will have to put up with a trip or two to the DL.....but he is superb when healthy. Ben was a 4-time All Star for the Crew and won a gold medal at the Summer Olympics.
Granted, he didn't receive any offensive support during most of his time in a Brewers uniform. His best year was in 2004 when he threw 237 innings, but still recorded a 12-14 season but a solid 2.70 earned run average. He ate innings and provided relief to the pen.

I wish him luck.

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