Re: Can a player become a two-way player today (pitcher and fielder)?
IMO the physical and mental grind would be overwhelming. To excel as either a pitcher or position player at the ML level requires focus and work. In high school and college where we see this done, not only is the level of competition lower, but the schedule is not as demanding. Moreover, if his OPS sagged or ERA went up, there would be strong pressure to concentrate on only one aspect of his game. We would probably have a running thread on this board.
I agree that the double switch possibilities are interesting. It was not uncommon in the past to move a starting pitcher to another position and bring in a relief pitcher to face one critical batter. The starter would then return to the mound and a new outfielder would enter the game. I could see this occurring if Owings were scheduled to bat the next inning and the outfielder being replaced had batted the preceding ending. By contrast, what is done today is take the starter out of the game, then pitch hit for the reliever in the next inning. In effect, leaving Owings in the game could save a pitcher while giving Owings an at bat instead of a pinch hitter. We could call it the Herrera-Owings switch.