It has come to this: Ben Sheets may be in the Braves rotation within two weeks

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We noted yesterday that the Braves have signed Ben Sheets. Hey, he used to have something, let’s see if he still has something again. No harm, no foul.

Except now we learn that Sheets will get all of two rehab starts and, assuming his arm doesn’t disintegrate, will join the Braves rotation by mid-July. Atlanta’s starting pitching has been a weakness all year, beset by injury and mediocrity, but I didn’t feel like things were so bad that they were reanimating corpses and plugging them in a week after the All-Star break.

Oh well, I won’t worry. Because I think the odds favor his arm actually disintegrating over him actually being a starter the Braves will depend on to turn a somewhat frustrating season around.

Zach Britton receives stem cell injection, likely done for the season

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Orioles closer Zach Britton is likely done for the remainder of the 2017 season after receiving a stem cell injection in his left knee, Peter Schmuck and Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun report. Britton has been battling knee problems for most of the season.

The Orioles are still technically in the AL Wild Card race, entering play Thursday 5.5 games behind the Twins for the second Wild Card slot. With only nine games remaining, however, the 73-80 Orioles are likely being realistic about their chances and not taking any unnecessary risks with Britton.

Britton, 29, put up a 2.89 ERA with 15 saves and a 29/18 K/BB ratio in 37 1/3 innings this season. He will be eligible for arbitration for the fourth and final time this offseason.

Dodgers can clinch NL West on Friday

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The Dodgers staved off a four-game series sweep at the hands of the Phillies, winning 5-4 on Thursday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park. The win reduced their magic number in the NL West to one, meaning that a win against the Giants at home or a Diamondbacks loss to the Marlins on Friday will result in clinching the division.

Of course, the Dodgers winning and the Diamondbacks losing hasn’t exactly been a sure thing lately. The D-Backs rattled off a 13-game winning streak from August 24 through September 6. The Dodgers lost 11 games in a row from September 2-11 and were on a four-game slide before Thursday’s win.

The Dodgers will send Rich Hill to the mound to start opposite Jeff Samardzija. The Diamondbacks have Zack Greinke opposing Adam Conley.