After a series of injuries and surgeries that made everyone this side of Rich Harden say “damn!” Ben Sheets has been pretty effective since his comeback with the Braves began. But he did get beat up on Sunday, and it was suggested that perhaps he had dead arm.
Dave O’Brien of the AJC reports, however, that it’s a far greater problem:
But Sheets said Tuesday he would characterize it more as “dead body” now that he’s six starts into his comeback after two years out of baseball following multiple elbow operations.
“My whole body felt dead,” Sheets said. “I was like ‘Weekend at Bernie’s’ guy. I was like Bernie.”
Except there’s no lovely 1980s-era Catherine Mary Stewart to keep us interested in these proceedings.
Um, I may have said too much there. I’ll be back later. Gonna go watch “Night of the Comet” for the 500th time.
Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.
Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.
Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.