Sunday, April 12, 2009

Now Pinch Hitting, The Pitcher! Micah Owings Does Double Duty

Imagine your feelings after you have spent your entire professional career honing your craft as a position player, only to find out that the manager looks past you on the bench to call on a pitcher for a pinch hitter! Such has been the case this season for the Cincinnati Reds, using pitcher Micah Owings twice in this fashion during the first four games. A throwback to the likes of Don Newcombe and more recently Brooks Kieschnick, Owings has proved valuable as both a pitcher and a pinch hitter Owings versatility has effectively freed up another roster space for Dusty Baker to use. Owings has been penciled in as the team's fifth starter, leaving him available to pinch hit the other four days in which he is not pitching. Owings is batting .322 in 118 career at-bats with five home runs. Now does this situation speak to Owings prowess as a hitter, or lack of depth on the bench? A full season as a pinch-hitter will give us a better idea of how Owings rates once the book begins to circulate on him. If this plan is successful, it could become a trend within the major leagues as management looks to maximize the value of the players on their rosters. Another candidate for this role is Colorado Rockies pitcher Jason Marquis who is 6-for-26 in his career as a pinch hitter.


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