Braves to call up Ben Sheets for Sunday’s start


UPDATE: Jon Heyman of reports that the Braves will call up Sheets to start Sunday against the Mets, in Atlanta.


Ben Sheets made his second Double-A start yesterday, tossing 5.2 innings of three-run ball as the oft-injured former All-Star tries to make it back to the majors with the Braves.

Sheets was hurt by his defense late in the game, so his final line probably undersells his effectiveness. He struck out four, walked none, and allowed seven hits without giving up a homer.

Through two starts he has a 10/1 K/BB ratio and reports of his low-90s velocity have been encouraging, but Double-A batters are hitting .279 off him.

He threw 89 pitches yesterday, so Sheets is stretched out enough that the Braves could add him to their rotation at any time if they deem him ready and upon signing him to a minor-league deal they indicated that the 33-year-old wouldn’t be asked to remain in the minors for very long.

David Phelps to undergo Tommy John surgery

Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.

Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.

As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.