The Braves have signed former Brewers ace Ben Sheets to a minor league deal. Sheets will make his first start for the organization on Wednesday for AA Mississippi.
Sheets hasn't pitched in the majors since 2010, when he was a member of the A's. That season, he made 20 starts and had a 4.53 ERA, striking out 84 and walking 43 in 119 1/3 innings. Sheets hasn't thrown 200 innings in a season since 2004 (and obviously won't this season, either), and has been plagued by injuries even moreso in recent years than over the early years of his caraeer. Sheets missed all of the 2009 and 2011 seasons,
When thinking of Sheets, the first thing to come to mind about the soon-to-be 34 year-old is injuries. He's had surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his elbow twice, and also has had Tommy John surgery. His best season came way back in 2004 with the Brewers, when he had a 2.70 ERA, a 10.03 strikeout rate, and an 8.25 strikeout to walk ratio. Incredibly, he got just one third place vote in the NL Cy Young voting that season.
The Braves have struggled with their starting rotation this year, but someone like Sheets doesn't seem like he'd be a huge upgrade for the Braves. Atlanta's rotation is mainly younger, with Tim Hudson being the elder statesman. The team has Julio Teheran in AAA, and he would probably be a better choice to fill a spot in the rotation than Sheets.
I'm not really seeing how this helps improve the Braves, but at least it's a minor league deal with low overall risk.