Every now and then, you’ll come across a name in a news article or see a face on television and think, “Wait, that guy is still alive?” I recently had this occurence seeing Golden Girl Betty White on a 1-800-PetMeds commerical. Turns out all four of the Golden Girls are still ticking according to the show’s Wikipedia entry. Oh, and Estelle Getty, who played Bea Arthur’s mother on the show, is actually younger than Bea Arthur. Go figure.
The reason why I bring this up is that buried deep within this San Diego Union-Tribune article about trade rumors involving Mark Loretta, I learned that Shawn Estes was still pitching in the Padres organization. Having not heard the name in a couple of years, I had simply assumed that he had retired. He did not, but rather, has been rehabbing from elbow surgery. He just made his second start of the year for San Diego’s Single-A Lake Elsinore where he has one earned run, eight Ks, and one walk allowed in nine innings.
And it looks like he may get another shot at the bigs. The article quotes Pads GM Kevin Towers:
“We’d like to add some depth to our starting pitching,” Towers said. “There’s just not a lot of it out there. Estes had another good outing, which gives us hope.”
Estes is one of those pitchers who, for me, was far better in memory than in actuality. I’m more inclined to remember his 19-win season in 1997 as a 24-year old lefty than the rest of his career which never lived up those expectations. While he has a career record over .500 (99-90), his other numbers are far from impressive. His career ERA is 4.71 with a 1.53 WHIP and he walked far too many batters for a guy who wasn’t much of a strikeout pitcher. Add in the fact that he has not appeared in a big-league game for nearly 16 months and it makes me wonder if this is a good move for a team with strong playoff aspirations like the Padres. I hope I’m wrong because I’m a sucker for stories like this (I am actually holding out hopes that Oil Can Boyd will one day return) Either way, it goes to prove my theory that if you’re a lefty who is yet to experience rigor mortis, you’ll have a job in MLB.