Move over Russ Ortiz, the Arizona Diamondbacks have found someone who is better at walking batters for no reason than even you are.
A rumor has the D-Backs setting their sights on Shawn Estes (can you really go out and get Shawn Estes at this point, or rather do you simply end up with Shawn Estes?). Admittedly, Estes did pitch in the career-path-changer a.k.a. Coors Field much of the time last season, but this is one instance where the Coors Factor can be ignored. We'll quickly list Estes' WHIP from the last 4 seasons:
2004 (Colorado): 1.62
2003 (Chi Cubs): 1.74
2002 (NY Mets, mostly): 1.59
2001 (SF Giants): 1.43
So somehow, Estes actually controlled his hits and walks allowed better in 2004 with the Rockies than his previous year, which goes to show just how bad he was with the Cubs. While it's easy to say that Estes' numbers will get better outside of Coors Field, it isn't necessarily accurate.Estes was much worse in 2003 with the Cubs, and though Wrigley is a hitter's park, it ain't nearly the hitter's park that Coors is. Estes' WHIP in 2002 is pretty much the same as 2004, but he played a lot of games at Shea Stadium, which plays as a slight pitcher's park. The D-Backs may reportedly pay around 3 million dollars to find out if Estes can get it done at the BOB in 2005. And yes, that is the sound of a toilet flushing that you just heard.
Perhaps this rumor isn't true, so perhaps this round of laughter is undeserved. But with the pattern they've been showing this offseason, this rumor just fits the D-Backs too well...