He's back. Pitcher Micah Owings makes his return this evening for the Arizona Diamondbacks after his release a three seasons ago. He takes the mound against the Minnesota Twins in a game he hopes to show the Dbacks he is ready to make the most of a second chance.
Of course the real speculation when it was announced a couple of days ago it would be Owings making tonight's start thanks to the departure of Armando Galarraga, was not how well would he pitch, how well would he handle a return to Arizona. The question wasn't can he pitch better than his spring training performance or how was he performing down in the minors on the hill. Nope. The burning question, at least from one Twitter follower of mine was, "will he hit 4th?".
Yep, that's what Owings is better known for here around these parts, his bat, because he IS a pitcher. Owings hit .333 in 2007 and .304 in 2008. He had 5 HR during his brief stay in Arizona before heading off to Cincinnati. Former manager Bob Melvin used Owings in many pinch hitting situations and even came through every now and then.
What we should be celebrating this time around though is Owings the pitcher. Hopefully he can be that fifth starter the Dbacks are missing. It seems as if the other pieces of the rotation have started to fall into place with Josh Collmenter and now Joe Saunders finally putting together a few good outings in a row.
We'll see what Owings has to offer. It could be a very brief stay in Arizona if he gets roughed up, no matter what he does at the plate. We need Owings the pitcher who can hit, not Owings the hitter who can pitch.