Braves starter Ben Sheets has finally reached the end of the road. MLB.com's Mark Bowman is reporting that Sheets will hang up his spikes after tomorrow's Braves regular season finale with the Pirates. Sheets is expected to pitch sometime during the game, though it's not known whether or not he'll start the game.
The Braves signed Sheets this July and he made eight starts for them, going 4-4 with a 3.54 ERA in 48 1/3 innings. Despite his effectiveness, it was clear that this wasn't the same Ben Sheets that was the tenth overall pick in the 1999 draft and the fifth best prospect in baseball in 2001. His fastball, which averaged 93 during his prime years, was down to 90 this season, and his offspeed stuff also saw a massive drop in velocity.
The injuries that had robbed him of so many major league appearances reared their ugly head again. The Braves placed Sheets on the DL after his start on August 24th with shoulder inflammation, and that was apparently enough.
It would be appropriate if the 34-year old went out with a World Championship after never pitching in the postseason in his career. Sheets was a member of Milwaukee's 2008 wild card team, but didn't start a game in the Brewers three games to one defeat in the NLDS to the Phillies. At any rate, it was a solid career for Sheets, but one that could have been legendary if his body cooperated a little more. It's pretty amazing that after the career he's had, he'll finish with under 100 wins.