To say Ben Sheets has been dominant thus far in 2008 might be a bit of an understatement. Entering tonight's game at Cincinnati, the 29 year old righty had allowed only 3 earned runs and 4 walks in 23 innings of work while striking out 20 batters.
Sheets' brilliance was on full display tonight, allowing only 2 hits (both singles) over 5 scoreless innings and tacking on 4 strikeouts for good measure. Unfortunately, that is where his night would end as he was removed from the game after experiencing tightness in his triceps.
The location of the injury has to be especially troubling for Sheets owners as it is similar to that of John Lackey who will miss at least the first month of the season. Now, Lackey has strained triceps whereas preliminary reports on Sheets' have not identified a definitive injury to his tricep muscle. We will know more tomorrow once the trainers can take a look at Sheets arm, but given his injury history, we would venture to say that you can count him out for his April 23rd start against Philadelphia. A DL stint is certainly a possibility here, so stay tuned.
Really tough blow for Sheets owners as the Brewers ace was arguably the top pitcher in all of baseball up to the moment his triceps gave out on him. Yovani Gallardo returns Sunday against Cincinnati and originally this meant that either Dave Bush, Manny Parra or Carlos Villanueva was on their way out of the rotation. With Sheets possibly on the shelf for a while, it looks like all three guys are safe for a few more starts.