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Veteran pitcher Owings: Have bat, will travel?

By Scott Miller | Senior Baseball Columnist
Micah Owings already is planning for his post-pitching career.

The six-year veteran of mounds in Arizona, Cincinnati and San Diego currently is disabled with a forearm strain and on an injury-rehabilitation assignment at Tucson, the Padres' Triple-A affiliate.

But that's not all: He's also working out at first base.

It's not uncommon for a talented but weak-hitting position player to become a pitcher (see legendary closer Trevor Hoffman, and Blue Jays closer Sergio Santos, both former infielders).

But who in the name of Babe Ruth is Owings looking to emulate?

"You look at his track record as an offensive player," Padres manager Bud Black said Tuesday. "Even though he's a pitcher, look at his offensive stats. Pretty impressive."

Owings was 0-2 with a 2.79 ERA in six relief appearances with the Padres this season after going 8-0 with a 3.57 ERA in 33 games (four starts) with the Diamondbacks last season.

As a hitter, lifetime, he's got a .283 average with nine homers, 35 RBI and an .813 OPS in 219 plate appearances.

"He wants to swing the bat," Black said. "I don't blame him. If I swung the bat like that, I'd want to hit, too."

Owings landed on the disabled list with the forearm strain on April 26, has missed 37 games and there's not really any expectation yet of when he'll be back.

But assuming he's back by September, Black termed his chances of playing first base for the Padres then at somewhere around "nil."

Likes: Johan Santana. Awesome night the other night, and good dude. ... The New York-St. Louis newspaper feud that has followed Santana's disputed no-no. ... All but the Phillies above .500 in AL and NL East Divisions. Those two races are going to be an awful lot of fun this summer. ... Mad Men is sensational this season. ... Mark Kram Jr.'s terrific book Like Any Normal Day: A Story of Devotion. Two brothers, a quarterback, a football injury, a paralysis and Dr. Jack Kevorkian. Beautiful, and heartbreaking.

Dislikes: This idea that All-Stars will be allowed to send tweets from computer stations adjacent to the dugouts once they exit the game next month? Miserable and rotten. And I will write more on it than just that sentence here very soon.

Rock 'n' Roll Lyric of the Day:

"He was brutally handsome
"And she was terminally pretty"

-- The Eagles, Life in the Fast Lane
 
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