Eyebrows were raised almost to the foreheads, when Billy Beane announced the signing of former Brewers ace Ben Sheets to a 1-year $10 million contract. I was skeptical of the signing and wondered if he would be ready when the bell sounded for opening day.
Ben Sheets was ready for opening day to my surprise. Plus, he made it out of spring training uninjured. Maybe his ego was bruised, when he failed to retire a batter in one start and gave up 10 runs.
At the time everyone said, “It’s spring training, it doesn’t count. Ben is working on his mechanics.” But I took note.
Ben has made a total of six starts this year yielding a 7.12 ERA. He has allowed 24 earned runs, including 6 home runs, walked 16 while striking out 16 in 30.1 innings. 17 of his earned runs came on the last road trip to Tampa Bay and Toronto – the only remaining domes in baseball.
The line for those two starts look like this: 7.1 IP, 4 SO, 3BB, 17 ER, 5HR – 2 losses for the team.
Surprisingly, Ben’s best outing so far came against the Yankees at the Oakland Coliseum. Going 6 innings, he walked 3, struck out 4, while yielding 4 hits and two runs. So far, his only win was against the Baltimore Orioles who had only one win prior to their series against the A’s.
I am sure Ben Sheets is disappointed in his most recent pitching performances and wants to do better. Based on his appearances in Tampa Bay and Toronto, wanting to pitch well and actually pitching well, seems like a mountain he is not equipped to climb.
If he is to pitch on his regular day, Ben should face the Tampa Bay Rays again on Saturday at the Coliseum. No excuses this time, the weather should be perfect for baseball. No domes in sight!
A good performance from Ben Sheets would help to turn the sentiment around. Until then will the real Ben Sheets please stand up?