San Diego's Micah Owings will focus on becoming an everyday player, he told the North County Times on Thursday.
The Padres reliever is currently on the disabled list with a strained forearm, but that's not the reason he's switching.
"I haven't given up pitching, but I'm following my conviction to pick up a bat," Owings told the newspaper. "A lot of attention will be given to the forearm for this change, but the bottom line is that I want to go this direction.
"The club is behind it, and I'm grateful for that."
Owings is 32-31 with a 4.91 in 132 appearances for the Diamondbacks, Reds and Padres, including 68 starts. Owings has had a much better reputation as a hitting pitcher than a pitching pitcher. In 219 career plate appearances, Owings has a .283/.310/.502 slash line, including nine home runs, 14 doubles and two triples. He won the Silver Slugger in 2007.
Owings was the Atlantic Coast Conference rookie of the year at Georgia Tech as a first baseman/outfielder in 2003 and played first base for Team USA in the Pan Am Games that same year. He owns the Georgia state high school record with 69 career home runs.
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