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Dec
5
2007

Diamondbacks Look at Interesting First Base Option

By Jack Cobra  |  Comments (7) | Hype It Up!  |   Filed Under: Baseball | Jack Cobra Archive
owings.jpgThe Winter Meetings are in full effect and teams are trying to solidify their rosters for Spring Training already by signing free agents and trading for players that they absolutely must have. The Arizona Diamondbacks are using the old 'there is more than one way to skin a cat' train of thought when it comes to who will platoon at first base next season with Conor Jackson....pitcher Micah Owings, who the Cubs drafted in 2004 before he went back to school, could see some time at first base:

Micah Owings' bat could get a little more play next season, and we're not just talking about pinch-hitting appearances. Owings, who last season made 27 starts out of the Diamondbacks' rotation and posted a 4.30 ERA, could find his way onto the field, perhaps at first base.

"It's potentially, depending on how our roster looks, an option," manager Bob Melvin said Tuesday during a Q&A session with reporters.

Should the team re-sign free-agent first baseman Tony Clark, there would figure to be far fewer opportunities for Owings at the position. But should Clark not return - and should Chad Tracy be slowed in his rehabilitation from knee surgery - the Diamondbacks could turn to Owings in some situations. Owings, a renowned high school slugger and a part-time designated hitter in college, won the Silver Slugger award as the top-hitting pitcher in the National League last season. In 60 at-bats, including six plate appearances as a pinch-hitter, Owings hit .333 with seven doubles, one triple and four home runs.
Depending on how your roster looks, Bob Melvin? You sly dog, you. You know you are going to throw Owings out there as much as possible. It's like getting two players for one salary. The Dbacks might as well just play next season with a 24 man roster.

Owings was pretty dangerous at the plate last season, and he was a prodigious hitter in college (33 home runs), so this could work out. The most likely conclusion is that Owings takes over full time at first base when he doesn't pitch, becomes the next Triple Crown winner, is then traded to the Tigers in a cost cutting move by Arizona. In Detroit he wins the Cy Young Award four times along with the World Series and then is traded to the Brewers where he closes out his career as a Brooks Kieschnick-type player.

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7 Comments
Bruce said

He could always bat him 8th in the lineup...

Jack Cobra said

You can't do that west of the mississippi.

Bruce said

Er...St. Louis is west of the Mississippi, so yes, you can. :-)

Damnit, didn't think you'd catch that....

Brian said

I wrote about this a while back. There's no reason he shouldn't be able to play first on his off days. I'd love to see this happen, not enough to care about the National League, but it'd still be cool.

I was pretty excited when the Cubs drafted him because of his big time power in college. He's certainly an athlete. I just wonder how they would pay him or if his ML Service time would have to double for days spent as a pitcher and a position player?

David said

As a Tulane alumnus, I saw him hit (1B or DH) when he wasn't pitching, and he was the best hitter on the team.


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