After struggling his last three starts, Ben Sheets has landed on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation. Fredi Gonzalez expected that Sheets would be able to return close to the first day eligible, September 9. This most likely indicates he is going through a general dead-arm stage most pitchers see during spring training, since he started in late June instead of February.
Unfortunately, this means Tommy Hanson will stay in the rotation as the Braves head back to a five-man staff. Recently signed Miguel Batista will be replacing Sheets on the roster, making Atlanta his 12th major league stop. After making one appearance for the Pirates in 1992, Batista has pitched in the majors every season since 1996. The 41-year-old threw 46.2 IP for the Mets this year, starting five games. He had 4.82 ERA, 5.09 FIP, and 5.12 xFIP, essentially replacement level. He walks a lot of hitters, doesn’t strike out many, but keeps the ball in the park at a decent rate. He won’t be great, but hopefully won’t become a liability in a long-relief role.