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January 13, 2009
  
Interesting Sheet(s)

Now that Lowe is off the board, I decided to look at the basic stats for Ben Sheets, and compare them to the Mets 2008 staff.

Sheets career: In 8 years, he has pitched less than 30 starts 3 times- in 2005 22 starts, 2006 17 starts, and 2007 24 starts. In his shortest year, he had 17 starts, fewer hits than IP, and a K/BB ratio of more than 10:1! In the last 4 years, which include all of those injury-affected years, his 4-year averages are:

23.5 GS,   150.5 Ip,   141.5 H,   30BB,   131 K,   3.45 ERA (highest 3.82)

4.4 K/BB,   1.14 WHIP,  7.85 K/9,   1.79 BB/9,   6.40 IP/GS

These are pretty amazing numbers. Lets compare them to the Mets starters from 2008, and to Tim Redding.

Name   GS      IP       K/BB     WHIP      K/9      BB/9      IP/GS

Johan    34     234    3.3        1.15        7.92     2.42       6.88

MikeP     32     201    1.7         1.36       4.93     2.87       6.28

OllieP      34     194    1.7         1.40        8.35     4.87       5.71

JohnM     25     140    1.8        1.35        7.84     4.31       5.60

Pedro       20      109    2.0        1.57        7.18      3.63       5.45

TimR       33      182     1.8        1.43       5.93       3.21       5.52

BenS        23.5   150     4.4       1.14       7.85        1.79       6.40

BSheets would have had the best K/BB ratio (by far), the best WHIP (just edging Johan), and the second best IP/GS (a critical stat when it comes to pen use).  And the 2nd best ERA (OK, not adjusted for league or park…. don´t get picky).

In my mind the upside risk to signing Sheets is well worth the downside. Barring a total flameout with the whole year on the DL (remember, his lowest GS total is 17), a partial year of 20-25 games is well worth it. Fill in the games he misses with Freddy Garcia, Randy Wolf, a ST signee, or Niese (if later in the year). If you can get 125 games from Johan, Mike, John, and Tim, and another 24 from Sheets, that leaves only 13 games to be started by fodder–I can live with that. Frankly, I can´t stand guys who walk the park, like Ollie P; Maine is almost as bad- maybe Sheets would be a good influence on him.

If his medical charts are OK, and his current condition is decent, give me Sheets on a 1 year incentive laden deal any day. Maybe $5-7 million guaranteed, with incentives based on games started: after 10 GS he gets an extra $800,000 per GS, capped at $17mill total. If he starts 25 games his option kicks in for 2010 at a guaranteed $17mil. How bout it Ben?


14 Responses to “Interesting Sheet(s)”

  1. Comment posted by argonbunnies on January 13, 2009 at 5:52 pm (#919252)

    Agreed. This is in line with what I argued in my MetsGeek journal here.

  2. Comment posted by argonbunnies on January 13, 2009 at 5:59 pm (#919254)

    In terms of starts:
    26 Sheets + 8 Neise > 31 Ollie + 3 Niese

    Maybe we already had this discussion. :)

    I guess the question is how much Sheets is holding out for. I’ve heard a huge range, from 3-$30 to 2-$30 to 1-$5 plus incentives and an option. The fact that he hasn’t already signed with the Rangers, who have expressed clear interest but have budget issues, probably means Ben isn’t looking to make himself a bargain.

    Personally, I wouldn’t want to go over 2 guaranteed years, but I’d be happy to be high bidder on AAV.

  3. Comment posted by cp on January 13, 2009 at 6:05 pm (#919255)

    This makes all the sense in the world but it still runs into the problem that Omar seems to be keeping to a tight budget. Any deal that provides incentives that could go that high would blow it.

    It’d be a great move but it’s hard to see Omar pulling the trigger.

  4. Comment posted by WilmerWillArriveSoon on January 13, 2009 at 10:33 pm (#919288)

    Wow you have utterly and completely convinced me of the merits of signing Ben Sheets. Of course, I am a gullible person.

  5. Comment posted by Dave in Spain on January 14, 2009 at 2:31 am (#919305)

    Looking at his career numbers I was surprised how few games he´s actually missed. I mean, people make it sound like he´s Mark Prior or Rich Harden, missing entire seasons. He actually has a better injury history over the past 4-5 years than Randy Wolf, and is a MUCH better pitcher.

  6. Comment posted by Dave in Spain on January 14, 2009 at 3:16 am (#919308)

    Note: in 2007, before his bone spur became an issue, John Maine had significantly better numbers.
    32 GS, 191 IP, 168 H, 75 BB, 180 K
    2.4 K/BB, 1.27 WHIP, 8.48 K/9, 3.53 BB/9, 5.97 IP/GS

    Lets hope that he can return to 2007 form in 2009.

  7. Comment posted by Ed in Westchester on January 14, 2009 at 8:10 am (#919327)

    He actually has a better injury history over the past 4-5 years than Randy Wolf, and is a MUCH better pitcher

    And that’s why most people think Wolf is not a smart move for this team.

    I think the problem is that Omar is gunshy on signing a guy with an injury history after Pedro (and El Duque, and Castillo).

    Note: in 2007, before his bone spur became an issue, John Maine had significantly better numbers.

    32 GS, 191 IP, 168 H, 75 BB, 180 K

    2.4 K/BB, 1.27 WHIP, 8.48 K/9, 3.53 BB/9, 5.97 IP/GS

    Maine did falter in the 2nd half of 07, which was apparently related to a hip issue.

    I’m holding out hope John can return to form. I hope that he can overcome his inability to finish guys off. He throws a lot of pitches.

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  9. Comment posted by Mike Newman on January 14, 2009 at 10:07 am (#919395)

    Sheets is a much better pitcher than Ollie. However, he’s not durable at all and is more likely to make 15 starts than he is to make 30.

    Sheets would be a great number two if healthy, but the Mets needed an innings eater to take the pressure off of Pelfrey and Maine. Sheet’s over/under for innings pitched in a season is about 140. as he has never been the same since his 264 strikeout 2004 campaign.

  10. Comment posted by Jordan Fensterman2 on January 14, 2009 at 11:24 am (#919494)

    Any time Sheets has been healthy in his career he has proven to be a true staff ace. There is no reason not to give signing him to a 3 year deal serious consideration if that’s what it’s going to take. Three years and 30 mil?

  11. Comment posted by Dave in Spain on January 14, 2009 at 3:23 pm (#919709)

    Mike, I don´t have Sheets current medical reports– none of us do. But the fewest starts that Sheets has ever made is 17. As I mentioned above, he has only one season out of 8 where he´s pitched less than 22 games– so why is he more likely to make 15 starts than he is to make 30? He is an undisputable ace. If we could only get 20 starts out of him I´d still be happy, as long as Omar gets adequate backup.

    And the 2007 Maine was significantly better than the 2008 Ollie.

  12. Comment posted by Gina on January 15, 2009 at 1:01 pm (#920412)

    The fact that he hasn’t already signed with the Rangers, who have expressed clear interest but have budget issues, probably means Ben isn’t looking to make himself a bargain.

    I actually heard it was the other way around. That he was interested in taking a cut to sign with the Rangers but that they only had limited interest in signing him.

  13. Comment posted by argonbunnies on January 16, 2009 at 1:56 pm (#921224)

    Well, the team pres (Ryan) and pitching coach (Maddux) openly lobbied for him. Perhaps the GM didn’t feel the same.

  14. Comment posted by argonbunnies on January 16, 2009 at 2:06 pm (#921227)

    I don´t have Sheets current medical reports– none of us do.

    We aren’t up-to-date, but we know the basics. Postseason MRIs found a small tear in a forearm muscle near Sheets’ elbow. Prognosis was that he’d easily be healed in time for spring training. I’ve heard no news that’s he’s behind or ahead of schedule.

    The shoulder tendinitis he suffered in early 2006 still has some teams worried about his long-term arm health. I suspect that’s overblown due to the general perception of his fragility, though.

    As long as he doesn’t sprain another finger and we don’t ask him to throw 120 pitches in his first start, I don’t see him as being vastly riskier than many pitchers (e.g. Burnett).

    And does anyone think Ollie will stay healthy if he keeps throwing the way he does into his 30s?

  15. Comment posted by Eli on January 27, 2009 at 6:44 am (#923445)

    Dave, I agree with you 100 percent. Including that there is little to support MN’s suggestion that Sheets is more likely to pitch 15 games than 30. I think Sheets is going to be a bargain and ace. But unfortunately, I think Omar will get his current target (Ollie) and Sheets will be someone else’s bargain and ace.

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