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micahowings0907.jpgThe Rick Ankiel story, first uplifting, then sad, then uplifting again, and now possibly sad again, got me thinking. If the Cards could've known that Ankiel had the potential to be either a front-of-the-rotation starter, or a middle-of-the-lineup run producer, which direction would they have pushed him?

Granted, what Ankiel has shown this season is not a guarantee of future production, but it is definitely an eye-opener. In Ankiel's case, the decision was made for the Cardinals, but there is a pitcher out there right now who would be a better test case, Micah Owings. Owings is having a moderately productive rookie season as a pitcher. He's 6-8 with a 4.68 ERA (slightly below the league average of 4.75) and a 1.38 WHIP. His K/BB ratio is a little better than 2 to 1, so there's definitely potential there for him to be a number 2 or 3 starter down the road. Should the Diamondbacks be happy with this?

I'm starting to think they shouldn't. Take a look at Owings' batting statistics: in 51 at bats, he has 15 hits, 8 for extra bases, including 4 home runs and 12 RBIs. His OPS is .952. He looks like he's a legit major league hitter right now. Here's the question, if you're the Diamondbacks' GM, would you convert Owings to a hitter now? There are some warning signs, Owings has struck out 15 times, and only walked twice (although you may be able to chalk that up to the opposing pitcher never wanting to walk a pitcher).

It's a tough debate, and I think the best way to answer the question is this: If you were Brian Cashman, would you trade Alex Rodriguez (the best hitter in the game) for Johan Santana (the best pitcher in the game) straight up? I think the answer is no. If you're thinking this type of decision should probably come down to a team's needs, consider that the Diamondbacks have scored fewer runs than all but three teams in the entire league and they have the worst team batting average.
by Brian on Sep 7 2007
Tags: Micah Owings |