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Saturday, July 07, 2012

PADRES NOTES: Owings shifts from the mound to the plate

Throughout his big-league career, Micah Owings has earned a reputation as a pitcher who could hit.

Now he’s looking to turn the tables and become a hitter who can pitch.

After four-plus seasons as a pitcher, Owings will work toward becoming an everyday player…

Owings has appeared in 132 games as a pitcher and has a 32-31 record with a 4.91 ERA in 473 1/3 innings.

In 203 big-league at-bats, he’s hitting .286 with nine homers, 14 doubles and 35 RBIs.

“I’m not doing this because of the injury [strained right forearm],” Owings said. “I’m doing it because I have a passion for hitting and have the ability.

“And down the road, pitching might be an asset for me.”

Owings, 29, was the Atlantic Coast Conference rookie of the year at Georgia Tech in 2005 as a first baseman/outfielder. He then transferred to Tulane before playing first base for Team USA in the 2003 Pan Am Games…

“Micah has never hit fulltime,” Padres general manager Josh Byrnes said. “Obviously, he has had some success doing it in bits and pieces. We’ll let him do it on a regular basis and see what happens.”

The District Attorney Posted: July 07, 2012 at 10:39 PM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: micah owings, padres

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   1. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: July 08, 2012 at 12:18 AM (#4175960)
It's amazing the things people *don't* say, sometimes.
   2. boteman is not here 'til October Posted: July 08, 2012 at 12:34 AM (#4175965)
So he wants to be a poor rich man's Rick Ankiel?
   3. The District Attorney Posted: July 08, 2012 at 01:39 AM (#4175973)
Not sure where you're coming from with that comment. Ankiel A) didn't pitch at all after the transition, and B) wasn't the caliber of amateur (or for that matter, professional, prior to the transition) hitter that Owings was.

Even if this "works", it's still not a sure thing that an organization will be creative enough to actually take advantage of it (cf. Brooks Kieschnick, who had positive WAR in a PH/RP role for minimum wage, but was dumped anyway.) I'm cautiously optimistic to see how it goes.
   4. BDC Posted: July 08, 2012 at 09:10 AM (#4176009)
Kieschnick pitched well in 2004 in the majors, but didn't hit; in AAA in 2005, he hit .300 but pitched lousy. There may be a sense in which organizations are always looking for a reason to cut a guy, and so a two-way player gives them twice as much chance at doing so.
   5. Tricky Dick Posted: July 08, 2012 at 09:54 AM (#4176019)
The Astros' Brian Bogusevic and Owings were on the same pitching staff at Tulane. Bogusevic was drafted as a pitcher, switched to outfielder in AA, and has been a right fielder in the majors for a year and a half. It's interesting that two pitchers drafted from the same college team switched to hitting at around the same age.
   6. shoewizard Posted: July 08, 2012 at 12:06 PM (#4176075)
Just 8 walks and 72 K's in his 219 PA's

Something tells me a 9/1 K/BB ration aint gonna cut it long term. Sure he was pitcher looking to get his hacks in, but plate discipline is a very likely issue for him.

And odd thing for him too is he has a massive reverse split. SSS to be sure, but it's really big.

They should have tried this 3 years ago. He's going to be 30 next year.

   7. JE (Jason Epstein) Posted: July 08, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4176088)
Just 8 walks and 72 K's in his 219 PA's

As a pitcher Owings has a career 3.88 BB/9 ratio. Too bad Owings the hitter can't "face" his doppelganger!
   8. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: July 08, 2012 at 01:33 PM (#4176134)
Owings would have been great in the Negro Leagues, except of course for the fact that he isn't an 92 year old black man.
   9. McCoy Posted: July 08, 2012 at 01:38 PM (#4176140)
Are you implying that the quality level of the Negro Leagues was so low that 92 year old black men used to dominate it?
   10. BDC Posted: July 08, 2012 at 01:41 PM (#4176147)
As a pitcher, Ankiel had a (batting) K/W ratio of nearly 5/1; that's down to 3/1 since he's been a full-time outfielder. So Owings could improve. Many factors are certainly at work, but one might be that pitchers just do not see many pitches that aren't strikes, no matter who they are or what their approach to batting. Simply batting 7th or 8th, instead of in front of the leadoff man, would improve a decent hitter's ratio.
   11. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 08, 2012 at 02:44 PM (#4176180)
Are you implying that the quality level of the Negro Leagues was so low that 92 year old black men used to dominate it?


Well, Satch did, and who knows how old he was?

He was Satch, though. That makes a lot of difference.

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