|Ben Sheets will take the mound one last time. (US Presswire)|
Braves right-hander Ben Sheets will start in place of Tim Hudson in Wednesday's regular-season finale against the Pirates. Then, after what will be his 250th start, he'll call it a career. Indeed, Sheets tells MLB.com's Mark Bowman that after Wednesday he'll never pitch again.
The 34-year-old Sheets of course fought his way back to the bigs this season after not pitching at the highest level since 2010 and not pitching particularly well since 2008. The results have been beyond anyone's expectations, save for, perhaps, those of Sheets himself: a solid 3.54 ERA across eight starts. Sheets wasn't in line to be a starter for the Braves in the postseason, but this decision, to state the obvious, means he won't be on the playoff roster.
As a Brewer back in 2004, Sheets, the 10th-overall pick of the 1999 draft, turned in one of the most underrated seasons by any pitcher in the contemporary era (237 IP, 2.70 ERA and the 11th best K/BB ratio of all-time). There's never been any doubting his abilties on the mound or his dedication to craft. If not for a run of major shoulder injuries followed by Tommy John surgery, Sheets could have been a great one. He'll still leave the game as an admirable one, though.
So here's hoping Sheets goes out a winner. And perhaps teammate Chipper Jones has a spare parting gift lying around.