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Ben Sheets just had the most massive surgery in the history of pitching

Aug 11, 2010, 3:30 PM EDT

“Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world’s first bionic pitcher. Ben Sheets will be that man.”

Unless someone spoke those words before Ben Sheets surgery yesterday, his career looks about as close to over as you can imagine. Because rather than just needing his flexor and pronator tendons, repaired it turns out that he needed Tommy John surgery too.

The recovery time was already going to be over a year. With TJ surgery added on, it has to be more.  At some point, you have to wonder if that kind of time and that kind of work is going to be worth it for Sheets. 

  1. Jason @ IIATMS - Aug 11, 2010 at 4:12 PM

    Is it too late for him to learn to throw lefty?

  2. davidc45629 - Aug 11, 2010 at 4:13 PM

    He’s made 50 mil since 2001. he shouldn’t be in a rush. I’d do the work and try to come back. unless, of course, i had a skill that paid me min 300k a year doing something else.

  3. Trevor B - Aug 11, 2010 at 4:15 PM

    You know, if Edinson Volquez can serve a 50 game suspension WHILE on the DL it might worth it for Sheets to try the PED route. I honestly cannot believe I’m saying this as I am firmly against PED and steroid use to attempt to get back on the road quicker.
    Again, I do not support or advocate the use of steroids and/or PEDs. The above statment is just some serious sounding sarcasm.

  4. Kiwicricket - Aug 11, 2010 at 4:32 PM

    Why do I picture Sheets having a leg of lamb attached to his shoulder now?

  5. GP - Aug 11, 2010 at 5:15 PM

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with using a steroid under a doctor’s care during rehab. That’s completely different, imo, than using them during the season to try and cheat the rigors of the long schedule so you can get an unfair advantage over your competitors.

  6. smokehouse - Aug 11, 2010 at 5:20 PM

    Too bad. I hate like hell to see a top quality pitcher have to go through this. It would seem that his career is over. I can only hope he does well.

  7. Sam Lee - Aug 11, 2010 at 5:26 PM

    Ben was never known for liking workouts and conditioning. I have a hard time picturing him spending a year or more doing it.

  8. EG - Aug 11, 2010 at 6:27 PM

    Sam Lee – did you picture him doing it in 2009? Well, he did. I’m not saying that he will do it again, but it’s not fair to criticize Sheets for not liking to workout & condition for an entire year when he’s proven capable of doing it just a year ago (2009).

  9. ryanbyrne19 - Aug 11, 2010 at 6:39 PM

    Sheets will probably attempt a comeback and I hope he does. He’s just short of his service time needed to kick in his pension plus he probably undoubtedly still wants to pitch and compete. The dude carried the Brewers into the playoffs in 2008 (with the help of CC) and destroyed his elbow (same right flexor tendon) in the process. He’s was about league average this year despite the fact that his right arm was evidently destroyed … that’s pretty insane. Sheets is a warrior and I hope he comes back.

  10. bigtrav425 - Aug 11, 2010 at 7:24 PM

    things like this is where HGH comes into play and is handy! for things like this it shouldnt be illegal at all..in fact i think it will be common place in 5-10 yrs to use it after more research is done about it and MLB see’s that it isnt a bad thing at all

  11. willmose - Aug 11, 2010 at 8:19 PM

    It worked for A-Rod, Pettite, and Reyes. I’m with you HGH will regenerate muscle tissue instead of scar tissue.

  12. APBA Guy - Aug 12, 2010 at 1:15 AM

    That’s a lot of serious work, three tendons/ligaments means a lot of rehab, since all the supporting tissues have to be built up slowly around 3 structures, not just one. PEDs and HGH are of less value here since the damage to the tendons and ligaments heals at its own rate. The muscle tissue will be rehabed so slowly due to the tendon and ligament fragility that the benefits of HGH, if any, and of steroid therapy will be minimal, in this case.
    What you guys are really looking for in helping tendons and ligaments are some stem cell treatments that aren’t here yet. Most of that work is being done overseas because of our past problem with stem cell research, but we are catching up in the US now. In any event, stem cell therapy enables you to more rapidly restore specific tissue types.

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