Earlier this month Micah Owings sounded just about ready to give up pitching and focus on trying to make it back to the majors as a hitter, and now the decision has been made for him.
Owings will undergo elbow surgery after spending the past three months on the disabled list with a forearm injury and manager Bud Black said the procedure will “take care of some of the loose particles and shave down spurs.”
Presumably the operation will delay Owings’ transition to full-time position player at least somewhat, but Black indicated to Jeff Sanders of the North County Times that he’ll eventually be able hit while rehabbing.
Owings was an excellent hitter in college and has batted .283 with a .502 slugging percentage in the majors, albeit in limited and sporadic opportunities.
The Reds picked up outfielders Mason Williams and Rosell Herrera on minor league deals, MLB.com’s Mark Sheldon reports. Both Williams and Herrera will receive invites to spring training and could compete for backup outfield roles behind Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton and Scott Schebler.
Williams, 26, completed a three-year track with the Yankees in 2017. He has yet to see a full season of playing time, however, and went 4-for-17 with two stolen bases during a five-game span with the club in 2017. While not a power hitter, his speed and steady contact rate produced a .263/.309/.318 batting line over 437 plate appearances in Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, including two home runs, three triples and 19 stolen bases.
Herrera, 25, has yet to make his big league debut. After seven years in the Rockies’ system, he finally reached Triple-A Albuquerque in 2017 and slashed .278/.351/.394 with three home runs and 20 stolen bases in 363 PA. He looks most comfortable in the left field corner, but has some experience at shortstop and third base and should give the Reds a nice utility option come spring.