Posted by Steve
Turns out the Sheets news wasn’t as good as we hoped. There was a slight tear in the finger, so they’re saying it will be 4-6 weeks before he returns.
There’s no way around it; this is a huge blow to the Brewers. Benny has been his old self by dominating hitters and anchoring the rotation. He pitched deep into games, so his absence will probably wear on the bullpen. Yo is stepping in for him, which means that he might reach his innings max (or exceed it) if the Brewers aren’t careful.
It might seem like the most obvious solution to bridging the gap for Sheets’ return is to pick up another starter, but I don’t think that will be easy (or necessary). Villanueva and Parra can start if need be. If they can get a solid reliever (I’m pretty sure my longing for Akinori Otsuka is well-known by now) it will be a big boost.
This is the first time in years that the Brewers actually have depth, and it’s paying off in a big way. I’m sure most remember last year when the Crew lost both Sheets and Tomo Ohka for a long stretch. The Brewers are a long ways in the right direction from sending out Dana Eveland/Zach Jackson/Ben Hendrickson to get hammered every fifth day.
Sheets is out long enough that his production won’t be replaced fully, but this hurts less than it would in years past.
I’m trying to stay on the bright side, as this is pretty much a bummer. How’s this… The team’s on a nice roll, the Cubs finally lost and maybe Sheets will be more rested for a playoff run.