Invisible Sheets

You know the 30-year-old starting pitcher fresh off nearly 200 innings and a 3.38 FIP with the Milwaukee Brewers, but it seems as if teams, or at least reporters, have all but forgotten Ben Sheets. The injuries make a Milton Bradley comparison germane, although that’s where the comparison ends. Naturally, that leaves the Texas Rangers as one of the few teams known as interested.

Even with those injury concerns, Sheets is a valuable asset. Sheets’ streak of 200+ inning seasons ended in 2005. Yet despite reduced innings Sheets has posted win values of 3.5, 4.2, 2.5, and 3.9. That’s an average of 3.5. Coincidentally 2005 was also Derek Lowe’s first season with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and in the same time span, Lowe has averaged 3.48 wins. It’s worth noting that Lowe also pitched in 244 more innings.

(The red line represents Sheets 2008 innings)

This suggests that while Sheets will not match Lowe in quantity, he will match him in quality. It also reinforces the idea that having an above average often-injured pitcher can be beneficial.

Sheets 148 IP 3.84 FIP
Lowe 171 IP 3.71 FIP

Sheets 173 IP 3.61 FIP
Lowe 185 IP 3.67 FIP

Awfully close, but we know Lowe reportedly wants more than 3/36 with murmurs of a fourth year. Sheets demands haven’t been as publicly known. That doesn’t speak either way about his demands – if they were low enough you would assume the Brewers would jump on re-signing him.

Eric covered the Lowe/Perez offers earlier, if that’s indicative of the entire market, some team is going to wind up with Ben Sheets, and even if he does miss a few starts yearly, some team is not going to be disappointed.

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Jason Jou
Jason Jou

I think it’s important to note that there are concerns about Ben Sheet’s health and his ability to pitch at the same level ever again. A muscle tear instead of ligament damage, but his stuff was really down when he came back, which makes me wonder if it’s still hurt.