Atlanta Braves right-hander Ben Sheets will retire following his start Wednesday, ending an up-and-down ten-year career that included an improbable comeback this season, reports Mark Bowman of MLB.com:
Tomorrow will be Ben Sheets' last career appearance. He said he will not ever pitch again. This was an inspiring comeback by a great guy— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) October 2, 2012
The 34-year-old Sheets had not pitched in the majors since undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2010 when the Braves talked him out of retirement in mid-July. The veteran right-hander made eight starts for an injury-depleted Atlanta in July and August, exceeding all expectations by posting a 3.54 ERA and 6.1 K/9 in forty-eight and a third innings.
Sheets went onto the disabled list with a shoulder problem in late August and has not appeared for the Braves since. The right-hander is only expected to throw two innings Wednesday, then will be relieved by Randall Delgado and Julio Teheran as Atlanta attempts to set their pitching staff for their wild-card matchup with the St. Louis Cardinals.
On his pending retirement, Sheets told Bowman:
"I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt I'm not playing again," Sheets said. "No matter what, there is not enough help or money to pull me out of this one...
"It was better than I thought it was going to be," Sheets said. "God forbid, I had a great career, because this is good enough."
For his decade-long career, Sheets owns a 3.78 ERA, 7.5 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9 across nearly sixteen hundred innings. The righty made four All-Star Game appearances but never got a shot at the postseason.