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A's Sheets roughed up by minor leaguers

Mar 25, 2010, 11:49 PM EDT

spt-story-ben-sheets-100325.standard[1].jpgThe Associated Press reported that Ben Sheets got his world rocked again on Thursday, this time by some minor leaguers in a game in Phoenix.

Oakland’s prized free-agent signee, who has struggled mightily this spring, allowed three runs and nine hits in six-plus innings. His changeup was poor, and he allowed several hard-hit balls, including a two-run home run.

It was also, however, Sheets’ best outing of the spring, and Susan Slusser at the San Francisco Chronicle had a slightly more positive spin:

Nevertheless, Sheets accomplished what he wanted to, getting in a lot of innings and 85 pitches. His fastball hit 92 mph, according to A’s minor-league pitcher Matt Wright, manning the radar gun and charting pitches today.

Sheets will make his final start before the regular season on Tuesday, and he’s not concerned about his mediocre to occasionally disastrous (10 batters faced, none retired) spring results. Since he hasn’t pitched in more than a year, the main thing is that he’s healthy and that he gets in his work. He always has awful springs, he said, and Sheets seems like a fellow who knows himself pretty well. He’s known for his bulldog mentality, and those guys tend to be able to turn it on when the games mean something.

That take certainly holds a fair amount of logic and sounds very good. And I realize you can’t always put much stock in spring training results, when you’ll often see pitchers just working on improving a particular pitch or on hitting a particular location. But with the season nearly here the time for tinkering is over, and Sheets has been really bad this spring. The A’s can’t feel too confident on handing $10 million to a struggling pitcher who hasn’t pitched when “the games mean something” since 2008.

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  1. Cru11 - Mar 26, 2010 at 12:28 AM

    I know its against minor leaguers, but doesn’t that qualify as a quality start?
    Captcha: Awfuller The

  2. GimmeSomeSteel - Mar 26, 2010 at 12:43 AM

    “Bulldog mentality” and Ben Sheets should NEVER be used in the same sentence. “Pinky spasm”, perhaps, or “mangina”, but not “bulldog mentality”. There are reasons why he’s never been big in wins, and it’s not just a question of run support or bullpens.

  3. scatterbrian - Mar 26, 2010 at 1:19 AM

    I really doubt the A’s are losing confidence based on 14 spring innings.
    Captcha: nabisco people?

  4. Joey B - Mar 26, 2010 at 9:02 AM

    “I really doubt the A’s are losing confidence based on 14 spring innings.”
    Perhaps, but I’d bet that they’d be more confident if he were pitching to an ERA of 3.00.

  5. BC - Mar 26, 2010 at 10:35 AM

    Can you say, “Un mistako mal grande”?

  6. nelson - Mar 26, 2010 at 11:31 AM

    it’s the white shoes.

  7. Theron - Mar 26, 2010 at 1:14 PM

    Sheets has been bad this spring, but to headline a 6 inning, 3-run outing “roughed up” and say he “got his world rocked” is preposterous. As cru11 mentioned, that’s a quality start, especially with 3 strikeouts and only 1 walk.
    That said, the A’s overpaid mightily for a pitcher that hasn’t thrown a pitch in the majors in over a year.

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