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Nationals release pitcher-turned-position player Micah Owings

Jul 1, 2013, 6:40 PM EDT

Micah Owings AP AP

Mark Zuckerman of reports that the Nationals have granted Micah Owings his release after he opted out of his minor league contract with the club.

After posting a 4.86 ERA over six seasons between the Diamondbacks, Reds, and Padres, Owings made the switch from pitcher to full-time position player this season. The 30-year-old was batting .265/.305/.480 with eight home runs, 31 RBI and a 71/10 K/BB ratio over 213 plate appearances with the Nationals’ Triple-A affiliate. He made 30 starts in left field, two in right field and 21 out of the designated hitter spot.

Owings was already considered a good hitting pitcher and the pop he has displayed in the minors is certainly nothing to sneeze at, but that plate discipline isn’t pretty. While it sounds like he could have a lead on a promising situation elsewhere, one wonders if he would be more interesting to a major league club if he still pitched a little.

  1. sycophanticide - Jul 1, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    Good. If ever there was a Brave killer…

    Fun stats – check out his line (batting line) while pitching for the Dbacks against Atlanta in August 2007…

    Talk about a one man wrecking crew!

    • tjwilliams - Jul 1, 2013 at 10:29 PM

      A .408 WPA! He almost won the game by himself.

      • sycophanticide - Jul 2, 2013 at 8:54 AM

        Throw in the fact he also threw 7 innings of 3 run ball that game to collect the win, and he pretty much DID win the game all by himself…

  2. rbj1 - Jul 1, 2013 at 7:02 PM

    Brian Cashman to the batphone!

  3. spudchukar - Jul 1, 2013 at 7:03 PM

    He’s no Rick Ankiel.

  4. tigersfandan - Jul 1, 2013 at 7:16 PM

    Could this be a situation where he was viewed as a good hitter because he was a pitcher and, once he quit pitching, the perspective changed?

  5. nekelund - Jul 1, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    His numbers aren’t that bad for someone in his first season switching from part-time hitter to full-time hitter. Rick Ankiel didn’t become a decent-hitting outfielder in the course of a single season.

    • mazblast - Jul 2, 2013 at 12:11 AM

      True, but Ankiel was a lot younger when he made the switch.

      Owings has always been a good hitter–for a pitcher. Kind of like Brooks Kieschnick, he is a good hitter for a pitcher and a good pitcher for a hitter, but never quite good enough at either to warrant regular play.

      Still, he should latch on somewhere, and he could be an interesting roster addition in September when rosters expand.

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