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Thread: Owings has sights set on fifth spot

  1. #1
    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Owings has sights set on fifth spot

    Owings has sights set on fifth spot
    Right-hander looks to hit Spring Training audition out of the park

    By Mark Sheldon / MLB.com

    SARASOTA, Fla. -- Because he has yet to pitch an inning since his August trade from the Diamondbacks, many Reds fans mostly know Micah Owings for his reputation as a good-hitting pitcher.

    They envision the next coming of Rick Ankiel, the Cardinals' pitcher-turned-everyday star outfielder.

    But unlike Ankiel, who scrapped his pitching career entirely to wield a bat full time, Owings plans on being healthy and on the mound for the Reds this year. And he hopes it's every fifth day.

    The 26-year-old Owings is one of the myriad candidates for the Reds' fifth starter spot in the rotation.

    "My whole life I've been treated as a pitcher and then a hitter," said Owings, a .319 hitter with five home runs in 116 career big league at-bats. "So I kind of think that since I've made it to the big leagues, it's kind of been the opposite. I consider it as a compliment and respectful. By no means do I take it as a knock on my pitching. But that's what I'm here to do and that's what my focus is going to be. Hitting is just a plus."

    When Owings came over from Arizona in September as a player to be named in the trade for Adam Dunn, he wasn't pitching because of a right shoulder injury. Healthy by the time he joined Cincinnati, the decision was made at that late point in the season to shut the right-hander down. It gave him ample time to become completely healed.

    So far in camp, there have been no issues from throwing.

    "That's the most important thing right now that I'm feeling good," Owings said. "I threw a couple of 'pens before I came down. I'm starting to feel like I can cut it loose again. After going down with strain last year, you kind of think about how you might come back."

    Reds manager Dusty Baker watched Owings throw in the bullpen for the first time on Monday. Baker and general manager Walt Jocketty will have to decide between Owings, Homer Bailey, Daryl Thompson, Ramon Ramirez and Nick Masset for the fifth spot in the rotation.

    "We only faced him one time on any team I was on," Baker said. "The main thing is if he's healthy, pain-free and no restrictions. That's what I was looking for. I was looking to see if he had a different arm slot. He looked good. He has late life [on his pitches], which is a great sign."

    During his 2007 rookie season with Arizona, Owings was 8-8 with a 4.30 ERA in 29 games and his career seemed poised for takeoff. He began last season 4-0 with a 2.42 ERA over his first four starts.

    Overall, Owings was 6-9 with a 5.93 ERA in 22 games, including 18 starts, with 41 walks and 87 strikeouts. He went 0-6 over his last seven starts, which earned him a demotion to Triple-A Tucson. There were only two more starts before the shoulder injury stopped him altogether.

    "I'd love to say all of it was [the injury]," Owings said of his performance slide. "But it's hard to look back and put your finger on things. I think it was an accumulation of things. Hopefully, I've grown and learned a lot about not thinking about too many things I can't control. I'll focus on the field and remind myself to focus on the things that I can control and do the best there."

    Should Owings not make the rotation, working as a long reliever is another option at the Reds' disposal. No starter wants to toil in a bullpen, but diplomatically, Owings rules out nothing and welcomes whatever comes his way.

    "Anytime I get the ball, I will do the best that I can," he said. "I've been through it in a similar situation in Arizona. It's something I don't think about. I'm going to go out and compete out on the field. There are a lot of great arms here but I'm not going to compete against them. Bake said it best the other day that we're all in this together."

    http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/...=.jsp&c_id=cin
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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  3. #2
    Worth The Wait
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    Re: Owings has sights set on fifth spot

    I have hope for Owings-- as a matter of fact, I think our rotation could be quite good, therefore, I'm not as pessimistic going into this season as most of my fellow fans. Jocketty did well to acquire Owings, who is intruiging no matter how you view him. Of course, the VERY best case scenerio for the Reds would be for Homer to realize his talent and win that 5th spot, but assuming that doesn't happen, I'm pulling for Owings.

  4. #3
    Making sense of it all Matt700wlw's Avatar
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    Re: Owings has sights set on fifth spot

    I wonder if Dusty would bat him 9th?

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    Member durl's Avatar
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    Re: Owings has sights set on fifth spot

    Check my math here, but Owings' numbers trend out to over 25 HR a year. Not bad.

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    Titanic Struggles Caveat Emperor's Avatar
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    Re: Owings has sights set on fifth spot

    He'd be my opening day left fielder.

    I figure if you're going to lose, why not throw everything at the wall and see if anything amazing sticks.

    That's probably why I'd make a lousy baseball GM.
    Championships Matter.
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    Start the Reactor! *BaseClogger*'s Avatar
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    Re: Owings has sights set on fifth spot

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    He'd be my opening day left fielder.

    I figure if you're going to lose, why not throw everything at the wall and see if anything amazing sticks.

    That's probably why I'd make a lousy baseball GM.
    I had the same thought at one point in the offseason, but I realized he could only make the move if he could play decent defense. I am confident he could hit something like .270/.330/.470 but paired with lousy defense I don't think it is as valuable as pitching. He should be able to post an ERA around 5.00 and with his offense added to that he's a solid fourth/fifth starter. Plus, when he isn't starting he can pinch hit...
    "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 klw's Avatar
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    Re: Owings has sights set on fifth spot

    Quote Originally Posted by Caveat Emperor View Post
    He'd be my opening day left fielder.

    I figure if you're going to lose, why not throw everything at the wall and see if anything amazing sticks.

    That's probably why I'd make a lousy baseball GM.
    I agree which is why Jerry Gil is the 5th man in my rotation.

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    Re: Owings has sights set on fifth spot

    I like Owings more than most. I think this guy is going to be a very solid major league starter. His minor league numbers were very good (200 IP, 191 H, 11 HR, 62 BB/176 K, 3.19 ERA) and he's got the stuff to back those numbers up. He got off to a good start in his major league career - through his first 35 major league starts he put up these numbers: 199.2 IP, 184 H, 27 HR, 66 BB/148 K, 4.20 ERA. Those are impressive numbers.

    For the 2009 season, I think he'll give us around 165-180 innings with an ERA around the 4.50 area. That would be a tremendous improvement over what we received from our fifth starters in 2008. I'd be happy with a 4.75 ERA from Owings but I think he'll be a little lower than that.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Member Emin3mShady07's Avatar
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    Re: Owings has sights set on fifth spot

    Quote Originally Posted by *BaseClogger* View Post
    I had the same thought at one point in the offseason, but I realized he could only make the move if he could play decent defense. I am confident he could hit something like .270/.330/.470 but paired with lousy defense I don't think it is as valuable as pitching. He should be able to post an ERA around 5.00 and with his offense added to that he's a solid fourth/fifth starter. Plus, when he isn't starting he can pinch hit...

    Agreed.

    I remember watching a d'backs game a few years ago and the announcers called Owings "fearless" and a true "pitcher" and a guy who could "just get guys out" so I think he has got great intangibles...

    In all seriousness though, he is much better than the numbers the reds had at the back of the rotation last year, so I think he could step in an be a pleasant surprise. His xFIP has been consistent the past two years sitting right around 5.00, not great but IMO that means a 4.80 ERA isn't out of the realm of reality.
    Baseball is not necessarily an obsessive-compulsive disorder, like washing your hands 100 times a day, but it's beginning to seem that way. We're reaching the point where you can be a truly dedicated, state-of-the-art fan or you can have a life. Take your pick. ~Thomas Boswell

    Having a life is overrated.

  11. #10
    Baseball card addict MrCinatit's Avatar
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    Re: Owings has sights set on fifth spot

    Owings could be the first guy to pinch hit for himself.

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    Worst Behavior. reds44's Avatar
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    Re: Owings has sights set on fifth spot

    Quote Originally Posted by MrCinatit View Post
    Owings could be the first guy to pinch hit for himself.
    I spent way too long trying to understand this.

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    Re: Owings has sights set on fifth spot

    Reds are going to make a nice trade this spring.

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    Re: Owings has sights set on fifth spot

    I think Arroyo is on his way out.

  15. #14
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    Re: Owings has sights set on fifth spot

    That would make the most sense with the amount of coin he is making.

  16. #15
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    Re: Owings has sights set on fifth spot

    It's nice to have a battle for the fifth spot instead of hoping numbers 1, 2, and 3 don't implode by Opening Day. Owings would look good in left field, but he'd be throwing from the stretch.


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