Ben Sheets Anyone?

Check out this nugget by beat man Bart Hubbuch in today’s NY Post. I know we’ve all seen what Ben Sheets is capable of but we’ve also seen how injury-prone the 31-year old righty is. Sheets missed the entire 2009 season after undergoing elbow surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon in his right elbow. Before Sheets had the surgery, the Mets expressed interest in signing the four-time All Star last winter but eventually backed off because of his lengthy injury history.

At 31, Sheets should be entering the prime of his career but who knows what, if anything, he has left. He last pitched over 200 innings back in 2004 when he had an non-representative  12-14 record with a stellar 2.70 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. The most incredible stat he compiled from that year was an amazing 32 walks in 237 IP. Simply put, these stats point toward the fact that this guy has been an ace and has Cy Young stuff .

Career Pitching Stats

YEAR TEAM ERA W L SV SVO G IP H R ER BB K BAVG
2001 Milwaukee Brewers 4.76 11 10 0 0 25 151.1 166 89 80 48 94 .283
2002 Milwaukee Brewers 4.15 11 16 0 0 34 216.2 237 105 100 70 170 .281
2003 Milwaukee Brewers 4.45 11 13 0 0 34 220.2 232 122 109 43 157 .268
2004 Milwaukee Brewers 2.70 12 14 0 0 34 237.0 201 85 71 32 264 .226
2005 Milwaukee Brewers 3.33 10 9 0 0 22 156.2 142 66 58 25 141 .237
2006 Milwaukee Brewers 3.82 6 7 0 0 17 106.0 105 47 45 11 116 .259
2007 Milwaukee Brewers 3.82 12 5 0 0 24 141.1 138 62 60 37 106 .253
2008 Milwaukee Brewers 3.09 13 9 0 0 31 198.1 181 74 68 47 158 .241
Totals: 3.72 86 83 0 0 221 1428.0 1402 650 591 313 1206 .256

The obvious question is whether he will ever be able to approach any of the numbers he etched on the ledger in eight years of work. I think, if healthy, the Mets should seriously consider bringing in Sheets on an incentive=laden one-year deal. If they are able to catch lightning in a bottle and this guy is anywhere near the pitcher who at one point was considered the best the NL has to offer, it could a team changer for 2010. Can he be any worse that Ollie Perez or what Tim Redding was for the Mets last season? I think not.

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