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.
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?