What does Sheets’s “new medical report” mean?

Chatting with Joba
Top 5 6 all-time Yankees CFers

Not even three weeks ago, teams were concerned with Ben Sheets’s shoulder. Sometime between now and then Sheets updated his medical profile, and this “may have sparked some renewed interest” in his services. I find this hard to believe. It all sounds a little too vague.

First: “may have sparked some renewed interest”? No, it hasn’t definitively sparked some renewed interest. It may have sparked some renewed interest. Is this a guess? Is it an assumption that because Sheets sent around his medical records that they’re going to be better than before? Either way it doesn’t sound like much more than a report that Ben Sheets sent around new medical records.

The question is, what are they looking for? Is it the shoulder problem Olney discussed earlier this month, or is it the muscle he tore in his pitching elbow? Why am I asking so many questions?

Maybe this will help Texas justify the risk of signing him. They met with him this week, and they seem to be the team most strongly connected with him. On the podcast I said Sheets to the Mets, but that’s looking unlikely. Heyman also reports that the Mets have made and offer to Oliver Perez.

(In more vague terms, he says that the Mets “are believed to have improved their original thought, which was for about $30 million over three years.” Original thought? Man.)

I guess the Yanks involvement depends on what Texas does. Even with improved medicals, it’s tough to justify doing this without heavy incentives. I think we could see Sheets sign with the Rangers, Perez sign with the Mets, and Pettitte sign with the Yankees in the next week or so. Pitchers and catchers in 21 days, and time’s a wastin’.

Chatting with Joba
Top 5 6 all-time Yankees CFers
  • http://twitter.com/OldRanger Old Ranger

    If, and it is a big if, Sheets is healthy…he would be a good pick-up but, only with an incentive leaden contract. And for the Yankees, only a one year with team options.
    Andy is another story, what Andy do we get…1st half or second half? We could use the 1st half Andy but, we have guys that can do better then his 2nd half.
    If we don’t go for another pitcher, that’s ok with me…I’m not one to think last years problems will show up again this year.Once bitten twice shy, is for old farts…no place for that in business or sports.

    • whozat

      Andy is another story, what Andy do we get…1st half or second half? We could use the 1st half Andy but, we have guys that can do better then his 2nd half.

      Looking at the evidence…probably the first half. He won’t be pitching through pain, and they should have the depth to let him skip some starts or take a 15-day stint if things start to flare up.

      Also, his BABiP shot up 40 pts in the second half. Maybe part of that was due to the pain he was pitching through. Maybe part of it was worse defense, worse luck, who knows. He was around league-average in BABiP in the first half.

      I think healthy Pettitte eats innings at league-average or better. And I think they have the depth to allow him to pitch the majority of his innings healthy.

      Other than standard “well…he’s aging!” caveats, is there any reason to think I’m wrong?

      • kSturnz

        you may not be wrong, but Age has been directly linked to performance if I am not mistaken.

        Anyone see Defiance?

        • whozat

          you may not be wrong, but Age has been directly linked to performance if I am not mistaken.

          There is an undeniable general career arc that is followed by many players.

          However, it’s not like Andy turned 36 on June 15th and magically became terrible. Tell me, who’s a better bet to combine for 200 league-average or better innings next season? Pettitte? Sheets? Hughes? Who fills in for AJ’s DL stint and Joba’s skipped starts? If they sign Sheets and he goes down…what then?

        • http://www.freewebs.com/ps3tf2/ Double-J

          I saw Defiance. It was meh, not bad but not great, imho.

          • Mike Pop

            Whatever you do, don’t see Underworld.

  • Reggie C.

    The Yankees are hopefully among the interested teams doing their homework on this new information. If Sheets really wants to calm the talk of injury , he should throw from a mound in front of scouts. Showcase the stuff and velocity and i’m sure it’ll get him several 1+1 type offers. Hopefully even from the Yanks.

  • kSturnz

    HUUUUUUUUUGHESSS chant!!!

  • pat

    I can’t imagine what has changed between now and last month when people were looking at his records initially. It is fishy no matter what. Why would he give outdated medical records to teams when he was first looking to sign? Has he magically been healed since then? This looks sketchy to the core.

    • http://www.freewebs.com/ps3tf2/ Double-J

      Maybe he’s been talking to Benny Hinn…

  • Jay

    Well, based on the Yankees’ track record at evaluating pitchers and (not) keeping them healthy, if there’s one thing we can count on, it’s that after doing extensive homework, whatever Cashman decides, it will be the WRONG decision.

    • pat

      Hahaha so true. He should have known pavano was going to get into a serious car accident then try and hide it from the team.

      • Tiyock

        It wasn’t the car accident. It was that line drive off his head in Baltimore.

  • Jay

    Pat, if you think that Pavano was the only stupid decision with a pitcher made by the Yankees with Cashman as GM, you haven’t been paying attention.

    Why don’t you list all the decisions he’s made with pitchers since he’s been GM that HAVE worked out. I’ll wait…

    • whozat

      Are we going to have this idiotic argument again? This point of view has been debunked on this site, RLYW…

  • D.B.H.O.F. p.k.a The Last Don

    “I find this hard to believe. It all sounds a little too vague.”

    Me too, me too.

  • Mark B

    If Milwaukee makes no attempt to re-sign Sheets – even to a low-base, high incentive deal – that will be very telling. Not only do they have a huge hole to fill in the staff (two if he goes), but they have a long history with him having scouted, developed and coached him since college. If they make no attempt to re-sign him (which seems to be happening), I think it’s a good thing the Yankees take a pass….

  • ryan

    I was watching the postgame interview when he got pulled after 2 innings in his last start. He seemed pretty convinced the problem was his elbow and even said he got shots in his elbow and he was dealing with the issue all yr. Now it’s his forearm and who know’s what the deal is with these supposedly new medicals. Doesn’t take much brain power to figure somethings not right with this guy. One of the best pitchers out there and can’t seem to even land a 1yr contract. The brewers have shown no interest and they know him best, I mean they probably destroyed the guy’s arm themselves.

  • Rob S.

    Why all the hoopla about Sheets? From what I understand he pitched close to 200 innings last season and quite effectively. He may not have the best injury history but neither does A.J. Burnett. I’m not saying the Yankees should pursue him but I think Sheets is a great risk/reward gamble for a lot of clubs. I don’t feel as though anyone would need to “justify” signing him unless he got a ridiculous contract. As for the Yankees we need another starter. We need more depth and an innings eater. Pettite would be ideal but the Yankees should be looking at other options as well. They don’t require an ace, just a number 5 starter who will take the ball every five days. Then they can skip Joba’s turn every now and then and save him some innings. This would also keep Hughes and Aceves at the ready when the inevitable need for another starter occurs.

    • ryan

      makes you wonder…..if this were the case and it wasn’t such a big deal to take the risk/reward on him, y wouldn’t other teams grab him up with 20 days till pitchers and catchers report. I wonder if teams think he can even pitch in 09.

  • JeffG

    Sheet’s medical report means pass… Andy should get signed:

    “His BABiP shot up 40 pts in the second half. Maybe part of that was due to the pain he was pitching through. Maybe part of it was worse defense, worse luck, who knows. He was around league-average in BABiP in the first half.” -Whozat.

    The luxury of it being only one season past is that I can still remember Andy giving up a lot of legitimate hits, having watched all his games, to me it wasn’t a stat – it was poor pitching. Worst example I remember was when he let Delmon Young (free swinging loser) got the best of him in Minnesota. That pissed me off. And I’m pretty sure that was closer to summer than fall.

    When he locates well inside with the cutter he’s fine – if not he’s in trouble. A bad shoulder surely makes pitches slower and harder to pin-point, but sometimes those are the breaks as well.

    That said, I’d chalk most of the poor second half to him giving us innings when he didn’t have the strength. That’s what a lot of it was. In my eyes and perhaps his, there wasn’t someone he could feel good about turning the ball over to. We may be hoping that has changed come April, but I’d prefer it otherwise.

    Partly because I can’t forget his pitching 2007 against Carmona in Cleveland. That is the guy I’d want pitching a game four for us this year. My feeling on Andy is that there is more in the tank. I don’t expect 20 games like Mussina but I’d love to see him get the shot at rebounding and winning a fair few.

    I understand that Andy is by no means a lock, but in my opinion he is a much safer bet than Sheets. In fact, I’d put some money on 15+ wins for Andy. With the arms we brought in that should put us over the top (knock on wood). For me – that is the safest way to go.

    On the flip-side I’d place a small wager on Sheets not making 15 starts. His pitching through problems and not being able to go for a critical game… means he finished very hurt. Does that heal in a couple of months? I come up with no, and to me that says a lot.

    Lastly, let’s not forget we already have so much invested and some stiff competition. I think it’s a bigger risk not to sign Andy considering we have very little breathing room between us, the sox, and rays. Making the post season for our first year in the new stadium is going to feel crucial for the Steinbrenners and ultimately for our players. Having another horse would sure make the run easier. Hendricks, Pettitte, Cashman – get it together.

  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    “Why am I asking so many questions?”

    Bethany: So, when do you go back to Jersey?
    Jay: Jeez, this broad asks a lot of questions. Tomorrow.
    Bethany: Tomorrow…
    Jay: Yeah… So do you do anal? Is it true that chicks fart if you blast ’em in the ass?

    • JeffG
      • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

        Hold on. Are you calling someone a douche for making a joke?

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          I was giving him the benefit of the doubt for making some sort of a douche – anal sex – farting connection.

          Tenuous, but not impossible to do.

          • JeffG

            Playing very loose… vague, meaningless, similarities are way off the wall. Still up from Wednesday… painting… on a complete bender.

  • http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/group.php?gid=43434432275 Ace

    Off topic question…

    Is RAB going to have an official tee-shirt like last years “Save the Big Three” this year?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      It’s in the works.

      • Mike Pop

        $39.99 a shirt son, times is rough!

  • sar515

    How many quality starts would make Sheets worthwhile?
    15? 20?

    It’s not like he was Pavano last year…

    If Yanks could get 1 year deal…with incentives for $10…with $13-16 million club option for year 2…I think it’s better than a lot of other gambles they have taken.

  • jim

    Here is a link to Sheets rumors in December that also brings up back problems.

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2008/12/sheets-expected.html

    If there is any truth to revised medicals , perhaps it concerns his back.

    On MLB Hotstove Tom Verducci said Texas needs to guarentee 2 years for Sheets to go to Texas. If he was only going to get 1 year guarenteed, then it would make more sense to go to the Yankees to better market himself.

    Here is a link from MLB TRADE RUMORS that is a transcript of the Red’s Owner going on the radio to counteract a negative article about the reds. There must have been some article saying the Reds were done spending money and were giving up on the year. Castellini is trying to convince the audience that the Reds are trying to win this year. He gets asked , “What happened to the left fielder with all the power the Reds were going to get?”

    The owner hints that the Reds are still going after Nady, even though it is getting late. I think the Yankees were asking for Homer Bailey. Elsewhere in the interview, Castellini mentions his top 4 starters and all of his young position players as part of the winning Reds team. I am thinking he is ready to give us Bailey.

    Here is the Link http://tinyurl.com/ahyqao
    ———————————
    Cunningham: Do you think it’s been upgraded when you have the additions like Willy Taveras, Ramon Hernandez, re-signing Jerry Hariston. (David) Weathers and (Mike) Lincoln are staying? What happened to the left fielder with all the power the Reds were going to get?

    Castellini: There is a left fielder, right-handed batter out there. But it’s getting a little late. We’ve tried to fill that spot. In the meantime, we’ve signed Willy to cover center field and we’ve got Jerry for left field with (Chris) Dickerson and/or (Norris) Hopper if Alex (Gonzalez) comes back. We feel like we’ve shored up center with catcher and Taveras and whoever plays short — whether it’s Hairston or Alex. That’s a big question. Alex is a big question.
    ————————–
    I bought a book called 2009 Ron Shandler’s Baseball Forecaster. It contains a lot of advanced stats.

    He has a way to calculate dominating starts and disasterous starts. He highlights that Sheets had 20 dominating starts and 0 disasterous starts in 29 games.

    If the Yankees get him I would be glad. They could limit his innings to preserve his health. The thought of having him healthy in the post season has got to be worth the risk. If I think back to the Yankees losing to Detroit in 2005 and Cleveland in 2007, I think the Yankees pitchers had too many disasterous starts in those series.

    In this same book, the news about Pettitte is actually very positive.

    “Slightly elevated hit rate, trouble vs RHers resulted in some ERA erosion. Given few obvious skills reasons, both should normalize a bit. If so , a ground baller with a 7.0+ dominance, he still has the skills and profile to rebound”

    So by looking at his skills statistics, Pettitte is actually still very good. He also had an Xera of 3.71 vs his actual era of 5.16

    There is another stat that assigns a value to a pitcher , that he calls BPV. Pettitte has
    2006 83
    2007 54
    2008 89 (first half 91, second half 88)

    This means that Pettitte is pretty valuable and actually had good value last year.

    Pettitte is worth the money

    CC
    AJ
    WANG
    JOBA
    PETTITE/SHEETS

    HUGHES
    KENNEDY
    ACEVES
    BAILEY (from Reds for Nady)

    That would be pretty awesome

    • jim

      Detroit 2005 was a typo, I meant Detroit 2006 playoffs

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      The owner hints that the Reds are still going after Nady, even though it is getting late. I think the Yankees were asking for Homer Bailey.

      No effin way Cash makes that trade.

      The Yanks are looking to win THIS year. Nady could help them win THIS year, Bailey will not help them win THIS year.

      I’m not saying Cash won’t trade Nady. I’m saying if he does, it will be for someone who can help him win THIS year.

      • Mike Pop

        We could always put Homer in the 8th inning. I would make that deal if I got 1 or 2 more quality prospects in the deal.

      • jim

        You could be right. My thinking is based on the premise that the Yankees were going to try to move Nady to free up salary so they could sign Pettitte. They not actually have a budget. If that is the case then they don’t need to move somebody, they could just sign Pettitte.

        If there is a budget and they need to move Nady’s 6+ off the books, then they would have to get prospects back. That logic would not be for this year, but it would free up money for Pettitte and get some prospects back for Nady , who cost them prospects.

        So the win now aspect would be if it came down to Pettitte or Nady.

        Cashman gave up Tabata for Nady, so if he could sneak Bailey plus some other prospect from the Reds for Nady, that could make sense.

  • The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

    (Excerpt from the Introduction to Ben Sheets’ “new” medical report.)

    Hi everybody!

    This report has been commissioned by Ben Sheets as an update on the status of his elbow and shoulder. The arm is a complicated thing! The wrist bone’s connected to the…something. The something’s connected to the…red thing. The red thing’s connected to my…wrist watch. Uh oh!

    This report will show that everything is dandy and a-ok with Ben Sheets’ arm. Just look at these x-rays. You see that dark spot there? A bruise!

    The findings in this report are hereby certified by the preeminent general specialist credit doctor in baseball.

    -Dr. Nick Riviera

    • Steve H

      Nice

  • http://twitter.com/OldRanger Old Ranger

    If one goes back a few years, there is a correlation with Andy to some of our (my) favorite pitchers; Ed Lopat, Whitey, Mel, Guidry, Andy, Moose and CMW…all of them pitched well and often. They very seldom called is sick, they pitched anytime they were asked…and in some cases, volunteered.
    Andy fits in with them, some may have forgotten back when Andy first came up with arm consciences (end of his 1st time w/Yanks), he pitched anyhow. Many times he has shown his “Grit”…maybe it’s the Yanks turn to do the same.
    If Andy can still pitch effectively…sign him and get it over with!

    • http://twitter.com/OldRanger Old Ranger

      Oppssss! “concern” not consciences.

      • pat

        its aight ur still a pimp

  • Lissette

    We don’t need Sheeets to give us 200 innings as a #4, knowing he’ll have plenty of others to back him up, so why not take the gamble????

  • ryan

    Nady helps now. y get rid of him? one of swisher and nady has to produce this yr I say keep em both. 6 mill can’t be that important to sacrifice a solid platoon in the corners. Yanks need a guy on the bench that can play SS,3B,2B. If Ransom can manage so be it. Offer sheets and pettitte 10 mill and whoever accepts first wins.

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