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Micah Owings may finally give full-time hitting a try

Jul 6, 2012, 10:47 AM EDT

Micah Owings AP

After years of people wondering why Micah Owings didn’t attempt to become a full-time hitter after putting up good offensive numbers as a mediocre pitcher he may finally be ready to give it a shot.

Owings is currently on the disabled list with a forearm injury and once healthy might resume pitching, but in the meantime the Padres are on board with him getting regular reps as a hitter in the minors.

“I haven’t given up pitching, but I’m following my conviction to pick up a bat,” Owings told John Maffei of the North County Times. “The club is behind it, and I’m grateful for that. I’m not doing this because of the injury. I’m doing it because I have a passion for hitting and have the ability.”

Owings was an excellent hitter in college and has batted .283 with nine homers and an .813 OPS in 219 plate appearances as a big leaguer, although for whatever reason few managers have even used him as a regular pinch-hitter and he hasn’t logged more than 20 plate appearances in a season since 2009.

Toss in the fact that he’s limited to first base or an outfield corner defensively and has an ugly 72/8 K/BB ratio as a hitter and Owings is hardly a sure thing to produce enough to play regularly in the majors, but with a 4.86 career ERA and arm problems it’s certainly worth a try.

Not since Brooks Kieschnick has there been a legitimate pitcher/hitter in the majors, and if Owings can get healthy he’d seemingly be an asset in a true dual role.

  1. bossman6 - Jul 6, 2012 at 10:55 AM

    Always wondered why he didn’t do this sooner. why will no one ever use him to pinch hit?

  2. runyetirun - Jul 6, 2012 at 11:00 AM

    Is that really a picture of Micah Owings? I thought for sure Owings was a semi-gawky white dude.

    • tartan1 - Jul 6, 2012 at 11:22 AM

      He definitely is a semi-gawky white dude. Owings wears/wore #27 for the Padres this year and the guy in the picture is definitely a right handed pitcher.

      Owings made a home appearance against the Nationals on April 25, so this could be from that game. Edinson Volquez and Luke Gregerson both wear jersey numbers ending in 7 and both throw RH. Volquez made a home start against the Nats on April 26. Gregerson appeared in both the April 24 and April 25 games, but he’s also a semi-gawky white dude. The last letter on the jersey definitely isn’t an ‘n’ and it most likely isn’t a ‘z’.

      Mark DeRosa wears #7 for the Nationals, and a Micah Owings 7th innings walk to Jayson Werth definitely sent DeRosa to third base in the April 25 game. DeRosa never got to 3B in the April 24 game and never got in the April 26 game, so I’m going with indeed it being Micah Owings. It certainly doesn’t look like him though.

      • runyetirun - Jul 6, 2012 at 11:35 AM

        this was… detailed

      • pike573 - Jul 6, 2012 at 5:11 PM

        this could be one of the greatest comments I’ve ever seen…

      • gloccamorra - Jul 6, 2012 at 8:48 PM

        It looks like him if you’re familiar with seeing him in profile blowing into his fist. If you have, dead ringer for himself.

  3. randall351 - Jul 6, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    “an ugly 72/8 K/BB ratio”

    That sounds like an amazing ratio to me. Almost 10 Ks for every BB, might be a typo?

    • yahmule - Jul 6, 2012 at 11:12 AM

      “as a hitter”.

      • randall351 - Jul 6, 2012 at 11:20 AM

        Well that makes much more sense, I see that now, somehow I missed it reading the first time.

        The conspiracy theorist in me thinks Aaron went back and added that after my comment.

  4. yahmule - Jul 6, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    Smart move by Owings. Dontrelle Willis should have done this before he got too old.

    • ezthinking - Jul 6, 2012 at 11:44 AM

      Dontrelle is only 9 months older than Owings, but his line is much worse, .244/.287/.378 .665 OPS

  5. cur68 - Jul 6, 2012 at 11:25 AM

    Note to Dontrelle Willis: you might wanna give this a try….

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jul 6, 2012 at 12:58 PM

      If he does, he’ll probably leave the team until he gets a promise that he’ll bat 3rd.

  6. rooney24 - Jul 6, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    A few years back, when his pitching was at least kind of OK, I wondered why some AL team didn’t pick him up, drop him in the rotation and use him as a DH on other days. This was in his first few years when he was batting over .300 and hitting a few HRs.

  7. icanspeel - Jul 6, 2012 at 2:11 PM

    That’d be an interesting roster spot if he was relief pitcher/ backup outfielder/ backup 1st baseman. Essentially he could fill 2 voids on the bench and give a team 1 extra spot for whatever they want.

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