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Diamondbacks will give Micah Owings some time at first base

Jan 25, 2011, 11:17 AM EDT

Micah Owings

I’ve written about Micah Owings a few times recently (these are called “slow news days”) and each time suggested that he might have a brighter future as a hitter than as a pitcher at this point.

Apparently the Diamondbacks and new general manager Kevin Towers agree, because after signing Owings to a minor-league contract yesterday they plan to give him some time at first base during spring training.

Owings has hit .293 with nine homers and a .538 slugging percentage in 198 career plate appearances (while posting a 5.11 ERA in 410 innings), but he’s never actually started a game anywhere but pitcher.

Here’s how Towers described his potential role in Arizona:

I would imagine he’ll see a little bit of time at first base, how much time I can’t tell you. I know we definitely want to get him some at-bats. He is kind of a dual-weapon guy. It would be nice to have a guy who on the days he may not be pitching you would still have a very good right-handed bat to win a game for you.

It’ll be interesting to see how things play out for Owings in spring training, because he probably has more value as a hitter who can also pitch some low-leverage innings than as a pitcher with a good bat. Technically he’ll be competing for a long relief job.

  1. rmalmstrom - Jan 25, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    Whatever happened to Brooks Kieschnick anyways?

  2. dodger88 - Jan 25, 2011 at 12:36 PM

    Considering how spread out his plate appearances have been, he could work as a pinch hitter with the additional upside that he could serve as a long reliever, especially when a game is out of hand and you don’t want to burn out your bullpen. Considering how teams appear to be valuing fleixbility when building their rosters, someone like Owings could be quite valuable.

  3. BC - Jan 25, 2011 at 1:09 PM

    Why not? The guy mashes the ball considering how relatively little time he must spend in the cage.

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