It's Time For Ben Sheets to Go

Jeff BreenContributor IJanuary 22, 2009

Recently I have read many stories and listened to plenty of sports radio, and one thing always seems to come up...

Ben Sheets of course.  Why dont the Brewers sign him? Do the Brewers not want him back?  These are a few questions that I've heard, and yes, the Brewers don't want him back.  Can you blame them?

Ben Sheets is considered a top tier free agent and while his track record has produced some of the best seasons in team history, all star appearances, and league recognition,  knowledgeable Brewer fans will tell you that his injuries far outweigh the benefits.

When Ben Sheets walked on to the field at County Stadiums last game in 2000 after his gold medal winning pitching performance in Australia, Brewer fans saw him as the future and the man that would turn these basement dwellers into contenders. 

Well, they were partially right.  Ben Sheets first season landed him in Seattle for the all star game and from 2002-2004 Sheets was one of the most dominant players in the league.  A 264 strikeout season looked to be a sign that Sheets was going to the next level, but injuries in 2005 limited him to only 22 starts.

Unfortunately for Sheets and the Brewers, his staggering numbers came during the worst seasons in Brewer history, including a 56 win season in 2002.  Since 2005, he has only averaged 23 starts a season.  The problems started in 2005 when he had a case of inner ear infections that limited him to only 22 starts.  As his starts diminished, the amount of Brewer wins went up.

Sheets started the 2006 season on the DL and only made three starts before going back on the DL.  In 2007 he went on the DL mid way through the season came back, and then missed the rest of the season starting in August.

Finally, during a contract season Sheets looked to be one of the best in the game.  He garnered the NL starter job for the all star game, but after suffering a tendon tear, Sheets missed the last month and to make things worse, he wasn't available during the Brewers playoff run. 

Simply put, he wasn't there when the Brewers needed him the most.

Hopefully, this will answer questions from fans who don't understand why the Brewers and other teams wont go after him.  Unless you have followed his track record, you have no idea how irritating it is to have an expensive player like Sheets getting hurt every time you need him.

Sheets may appear in a Brewers uniform again, but only becasue no one else will have wanted him.  Any team that does go after Sheets, will be offering only a one year deal at the most.