Sheets tabbed to start on Sunday against Mets

Sheets tabbed to start on Sunday against Mets

Sheets tabbed to start on Sunday against Mets
ATLANTA -- After watching Ben Sheets throw a bullpen session on Thursday at Turner Field, manager Fredi Gonzalez announced that the right-hander will start Sunday's series finale against the Mets.

Sheets will be making his first start in the Major Leagues since July 19, 2010, when he was a member of the Athletics. The four-time All-Star has since undergone Tommy John surgery (2010) and has missed two of the last three seasons because of injuries.

Sheets made two starts for Double-A Mississippi since the Braves signed him to a Minor League contract on July 1. In 10 2/3 innings he allowed 12 hits and seven runs (six earned). He struck out 10 and walked just one.

Sheets said that he felt good in his Minor League starts.

"I thought I threw the ball pretty well, to tell you the truth," Sheets said. "Mistakes got hit, like they will up here. Even when you're in midseason form, you make mistakes -- it's going to happen. You try to minimize them and make pitches around them."

Gonzalez said that Sheets will be on a pitch count on Sunday -- fewer than 100, possibly as few as the high 80s. Sheets threw 89 pitches in his final start at Mississippi, on July 9.

"With the off-day on Monday, we've got a lot of support behind him," Gonzalez said. "So if he goes out and gives us five innings the first time out, that's fine."

Whom Sheets replaces in the rotation has not yet been decided. Tim Hudson and Tommy Hanson will start the first two games of the Mets series, and Jair Jurrjens will start Tuesday's series opener against the Giants. Wednesday's starter will either be left-hander Mike Minor or right-hander Randall Delgado, with the other returning to the Minor Leagues.

Gonzalez has an idea who will remain in the rotation, but the Braves aren't ready to make the decision.

"We'll see how this weekend shapes up before we make that decision on who's going to go on Wednesday," Gonzalez said.