Originally posted on Brewers Bar  |  Last updated 6/14/12



Yesterday, MLB Trade Rumors came out with a report that should be of some interest to Brewers fans: Former Milwaukee ace Ben Sheets, who has been out of baseball since 2010, is planning on making a comeback. According to MLBTR, Sheets threw for scouts (with representatives of the Yankees, Braves, Phillies, and Angels in attendance) yesterday in Louisiana. Sheets has more or less been retired since his 2010 stint with the Athletics ended in him tearing his flexor (elbow) tendon for the second time, requiring three different procedures, including a Tommy John surgery.

Between his big-league debut in 2001 and the injury that ended his career with the Brewers in 2008, Sheets averaged 180 innings per year, in spite of recurring shoulder problems that sidelined him for parts of several different seasons. Over that time, he posted an ERA of 3.79 and a FIP of 3.65. He made four All-Star teams, and was the starting pitcher for the NL in 2008. In 2004, he set a Brewers record with 18 strikeouts in a game.

For most of his time in Milwaukee, Sheets was one of the few bright spots on a club that didn’t have much else going for it, but his final season in 2008 was arguably his best. For the first half of the season, Sheets carried the team, pitching 123 innings before the All-Star break and allowing only 40 runs in that span. However, as the season progressed, his arm began to falter, and he pitched through pain in an effort to push Milwaukee into their first playoff appearance in 25 years. His elbow eventually gave way, requiring surgery and denying him the chance to pitch in the playoffs. About 18 months later, he signed a 1 year deal with the Oakland A’s, and threw 119.1 innings before re-injuring his flexor tendon.

According to the article, Sheets said he didn’t want to attempt a comeback unless he felt 100%, and was hoping to help a contender down the stretch. Also, the fact that Sheets needs one more year of service time (h/t to @Djberes84 and @JaymesL) to qualify for MLB’s pension plan probably is a factor as well. However, it’s unclear exactly what “100%” means in this case: Sheets was a below-average pitcher in 2010, and had lost a few MPH on his fastball. That was two years and three surgeries ago. However, if rest was what Sheets really needed, and he is as good as he says he feels, he could be a very interesting addition for a contending club, particularly as a reliever.

Unfortunately, the Brewers aren’t exactly a “contending club” right now, and pitching is probably not their most pressing need. I’d love to see Sheets contribute to some team’s playoff run, especially after what happened in 2008 – ideally, however, that team would not play in the NL Central. A lot of people have probably forgotten about Sheets by now, but it’s worth remembering just how much he contributed to the Brewers’ success in the 2000s. Here’s hoping he can do it again.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Manfred blames MLBPA for no significant rule changes in 2017

Report: Zach Britton has potential oblique injury

The Rock returns to WWE, leaves CM Punk a voicemail after 'Raw'

After outfield collision, Ichiro pranks teammate and claims he’s been cut

Simeon Rice gets vulgar with radio host over HOF debate

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ronda Rousey to be guest star on NBC’s ‘Blindspot’

Lakers replace Jim Buss with Magic Johnson, fire Kupchak

Report: James Harrison, Steelers share mutual interest in 2017 return

Jimmy Garoppolo’s mom keeping him up to speed on his trade rumors

Report: Clippers intent on keeping both Blake Griffin, Chris Paul

Slam dunks and startups: How all-star technology took over the NBA in The Big Easy

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

Box Score 2/21: It's trade heartbreak season

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams and players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Baseball movies you can stream now to hold you over until Opening Day

Movies you can stream now to get your football fix

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Nintendo is finally, thankfully embracing sports and eSports

The 'Did the Kings just make the Pelicans into a super team?' quiz

Will the Timberwolves start showcasing their potential?

'Playmakers' in Ice Cube's league who can help the Cavs

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher to win 100 games with two different teams

The guard tandems you'd want in a 2-on-2 tournament

We got our hands on the new Nintendo Switch, here are our first impressions

Top 10 second basemen in baseball for 2017

Teams, players who could be dealing at the NBA trade deadline

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker