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Micah Owings switches from pitcher to first baseman, signs with Nationals

Feb 6, 2013, 11:51 AM EDT

Micah Owings AP

Micah Owings is no longer the best-hitting pitcher in baseball. Now he’s just another minor league first baseman trying to make it to the majors, as the 30-year-old has officially switched from pitching to hitting and signed with the Nationals.

Owings missed most last season following elbow surgery and was released by the Padres in October, prompting his move to first base after throwing 483 innings with a 4.86 ERA in six seasons for Arizona, Cincinnati, and San Diego.

During that time Owings hit .283 with a .502 slugging percentage, although it’s worth noting that he had a terrible 72/8 K/BB ratio and logged a grand total of just 219 plate appearances in six years. In other words, he’s far from guaranteed to be a productive everyday hitter, particularly at an offense-driven position like first base.

As a first baseman/pitcher, however, Owings could be awfully interesting even if he were just mediocre at both roles and for a minor-league deal the price is certainly right for the Nationals.

  1. historiophiliac - Feb 6, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    It’s been a half an hour and no one has made a Torii Hunter joke here. Y’all are slipping.

  2. ncphilliesguy - Feb 6, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    It always made sense to me to have a guy like Brooks Keishnieck, Joe Savery or Rick Ankiel on a roster. I guy who can hit, but also may be able to give you a few mop up innings here or there to save the bullpen. Never seems to happen, though, I guess the game today is too “specialized”.

  3. albertmn - Feb 6, 2013 at 7:34 PM

    I always wished Owings would have ended up in the AL as a pitcher/DH.

  4. stevincinci - Feb 11, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    Good for him. I hope he makes it up to the big’s. Always liked him when he was with the Reds. Mike Leake is a better hitting pitcher, though.

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