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Thread: Micah Owings: Pitcher or Hitter?

  1. #1
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Micah Owings: Pitcher or Hitter?

    What do the Reds do about the Micah Owings dilemma? Do they keep him as a pitcher or switch him to a full time position player?

    Micah Owings - the pitcher

    Owings throws his fastball in the 88-92 mph range and mixes in a solid slider. He also throws a changeup which is just average at best now, if that. In 200.2 career minor league innings, he posted a 8.63 H/9, 0.49 HR/9, 2.79 BB/9, and a 7.91 K/9. Those numbers compare very favorably to Aaron Harang's minor league numbers (8.6 H/9, 0.55 HR/9, 2.45 BB/9, 8.07 K/9). In his rookie season with the D-Backs last season he posted a 4.30 ERA and 50 BB/106 K ratio in 152.2 innings. This year he opened strong with a 3.73 ERA and 20 BB/55 K ratio through his first 10 starts (53 innings). But then he started to battle through some shoulder issues and lost command of his pitches and was beaten around.

    His shoulder seems to be healthy now but the Reds are shutting him down as a precaution. I think he's got a chance to be a solid big league starter for the Reds. His minor league numbers seem to back that up as do his first 30-35 major league starts. He's got two solid big league pitches along with a changeup that needs work. You can bet your bottom dollar that Mario Soto will work with Owings next spring on that changeup if the Reds choose to keep him as a pitcher. Again, I don't view Owings as a top of rotation caliber pitcher but I do think he could settle in as a fine back end starter.

    Moving on...

    Micah Owings - the hitter

    It's always nice to have a fall back option like Micah Owings has. As much as I like Owings as a pitcher, I like him just as well as a hitter. Owings was a two way player in college often playing 3B/1B on his non pitching days. He was good enough to get drafted high either way. Owings started his career at Georgia Tech and hit .318/.394/.549 -.943 in 255 atbats. The following year he transferred to Tulane and hit .355/.470/.719 - 1.189 OPS in 217 atbats while hitting 18 homers. After getting drafted by the D-Backs, in a small sample size he hit .359/.373/.500 - .873 OPS in 64 minor league atbats. In the major leagues he had hit .322/.358/.557 - .915 with five home runs in 115 atbats.

    The guy has proven he can hit. The question is how well would he hit over the course of 500 atbats? If Jocketty and crew think he can be an above average offensive left fielder then I have no problem with them making the switch. If not, then I would keep him as a pitcher where I think he could be a solid starter for us.

    What do Redszoners think? Should Micah Owings stay as a pitcher or covert to a full time position player?
    Last edited by OnBaseMachine; 09-25-2008 at 04:00 PM.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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  3. #2
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Micah Owings: Pitcher or Hitter:

    Compete for the #5 spot. If he loses it, he goes to the bullpen and doubles as a pinch hitter off the bench.

  4. #3
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Micah Owings: Pitcher or Hitter:

    The Reverse Bucky Walters or Rube Bressler

    You choose.

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    Start the Reactor! *BaseClogger*'s Avatar
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    Re: Micah Owings: Pitcher or Hitter?

    Pitcher. I think he would need a year in the minors to convert into a position player ala Rick Ankiel and if my thinking is correct, it would cost us his last option year...
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

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    Member paulrichjr's Avatar
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    Re: Micah Owings: Pitcher or Hitter?

    I am curious of where he would bat in the order if he remained as a pitcher. (Not how Dusty would bat him - that would be 9th) I'm thinking that he could be the first pitcher in years (maybe ever) that could literally bat higher than 8 or 9th. Could he be batting 6th on this team next year when he is pitching? Does anyone know of a pitcher in the last 50 years that was such a threat with the bat? How about one that plays on off days at 1B or 3B?
    Tim McCarver: Baseball Quotes
    I remember one time going out to the mound to talk with Bob Gibson. He told me to get back behind the batter, that the only thing I knew about pitching was that it was hard to hit.

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    Start the Reactor! *BaseClogger*'s Avatar
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    Re: Micah Owings: Pitcher or Hitter?

    Quote Originally Posted by paulrichjr View Post
    I am curious of where he would bat in the order if he remained as a pitcher. (Not how Dusty would bat him - that would be 9th) I'm thinking that he could be the first pitcher in years (maybe ever) that could literally bat higher than 8 or 9th. Could he be batting 6th on this team next year when he is pitching? Does anyone know of a pitcher in the last 50 years that was such a threat with the bat? How about one that plays on off days at 1B or 3B?
    Bucky Walters or Rube Bressler?
    "On-base percentage is great if you can score runs and do something with that on-base percentage," Baker said. "Clogging up the bases isn't that great to me."

  8. #7
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Micah Owings: Pitcher or Hitter?

    Does anyone know of a pitcher in the last 50 years that was such a threat with the bat?
    Code:
    CAREER
    1950-2007
    P
    OPS vs. the league average displayed only--not a sorting criteria
    AT BATS displayed only--not a sorting criteria
    
    OPS                             OPS      OPS      AB     
    1    Johnny Lindell             .924     .151      109   
    2    Brooks Kieschnick          .837     .062      133   
    3    Don Newcombe               .724    -.029      782   
    4    Brandon Backe              .704    -.069       85   
    5    Ken Brett                  .698    -.014      347   
    6    Tommy Byrne                .683    -.062      452   
    7    Tim Lollar                 .662    -.052      231   
    8    Mickey McDermott           .662    -.079      578   
    9    Don Larsen                 .662    -.074      596   
    10   Jerry Casale               .657    -.079      116   
    
    
    CAREER
    MODERN (1900-)
    P
    OPS vs. the league average displayed only--not a sorting criteria
    AT BATS displayed only--not a sorting criteria
    
    OPS                             OPS      OPS      AB     
    1    Johnny Lindell             .860     .098      133   
    2    Brooks Kieschnick          .837     .062      133   
    3    Babe Ruth                  .828     .165      361   
    4    Wes Ferrell                .797     .014     1176   
    5    Bill LeFebvre              .796     .089       87   
    6    Jack Bentley               .783     .031      344   
    7    Chad Kimsey                .768    -.010      206   
    8    Erv Brame                  .755    -.038      396   
    9    Jimmy Zinn                 .745    -.009      120   
    10   Clint Hartung              .737    -.015      256

  9. #8
    Waitin til next year bucksfan2's Avatar
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    Re: Micah Owings: Pitcher or Hitter?

    Does anyone know of a pitcher in the last 50 years that was such a threat with the bat?
    CC, Zambrano, and Willis can all swing a pretty good bat. Hampton a few years ago had a pretty good bat as well.

  10. #9
    Member icehole3's Avatar
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    Re: Micah Owings: Pitcher or Hitter?

    Pitcher, I want our organization to be no.1 in pitching prospects even better than Tampa Bay. A great man said once "get as much pitching as you possibly can and when you think youve got enough pitching, get some more." I would like to see him stay a pitcher, heck I want the Reds to draft pitching in the first 5 rounds of the draft every year.


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    Re: Micah Owings: Pitcher or Hitter?

    Both. Starter or reliever -- find the best fit. At the same time, find a part-time role for him with the bat, whether it's as a platoon player, spot starter or pinch hitter. I wish they'd had him working on his offense somewhere this winter.
    "Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini

  12. #11
    He has the Evil Eye! flyer85's Avatar
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    Re: Micah Owings: Pitcher or Hitter?

    when I saw Owings pitch last year he worked in the 87-89 range with his fastball, rarely touching 90. Unless he develops a quality changeup he will always be susceptible to LHBs.

    BTW, if he can't cut it as a starter I would send him to AAA and stick him in LF.
    What are you, people? On dope? - Mr Hand

  13. #12
    Member Highlifeman21's Avatar
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    Re: Micah Owings: Pitcher or Hitter?

    I doubt he's the next Rick Ankiel.

    Throw him against the wall and see if he sticks as a BOR SP.

  14. #13
    Moderator RedlegJake's Avatar
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    Re: Micah Owings: Pitcher or Hitter?

    Absolutely keep him pitching. With Micah and Ramirez the Reds have two guys to battle for the 5 spot after Volquez-Harang-Arroyo-Cueto. Toss in Bailey, Masset, and Thompson to that mix and the starting pitching should be among the best next year. Every year is a gamble that some things happen. Next season a Harang comeback and Arroyo pitching more like second half this year than the first, and progression from Volquez and especially Cueto would make the Reds staff tough. Then find a decent 5th guy from the others named and this could be a very, very good and deep starting rotation. I like Owings as a hitter, too but he has more value as a pitcher, imo, one who can pinch hit well. If he doesn't beat out Ramirez or another competitor for that 5 spot he can go to the pen, provide long relief and ph. Imagine a staff that not only had a good #5 but a guy just as good to go to in games when a starter falters early so the team can get back in the game without burning 3 or 4 arms getting to the 8th and 9th. Yeah, the Reds need hitting but offer me one or the other and I'll take the pitching every single time. To me Owings hitting is his fallback only if his pitching arm collapses.

  15. #14
    Haunted by walks
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    Re: Micah Owings: Pitcher or Hitter?

    I kind of like the goofy idea of having him pinch-hit between starts. He's not such an all-world arm that you worry about him running the bases. If he strengthens the bench and the rotation, that's great.

  16. #15
    The Big Dog mth123's Avatar
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    Re: Micah Owings: Pitcher or Hitter?

    I like Owings as the 6th starter who takes a turn now and then to give a guy a break and pitches long relief in between. If he wins the 5th starter job that is gravy, but I'd look for an established mid-rotation guy in the off-season to go with Arroyo, Cueto, Harang and Volquez. Depth is critical and the minor league guys like Bailey, Maloney and Thompson may need to be included in deals to shore up other areas, so having guys like Owings, Masset and Ramirez in reserve seems like the right play IMO.

    Owings can be used as a PH late in the game and allow the team to carry an extra LH bat for the bench, because he'll fill the RH role most of the time.
    "All I can tell them is pick a good one and sock it." --BABE RUTH

    Having better players makes "the right time" or "the big hit" happen a lot more often. PLUS PLUS


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