Per the Journal Sentinel’s Todd Rosiak, Brewers VP and assistant GM Gord Ash says that recent signee Micah Owings will both play the outfield and pitch in the Minors:
“He’s going to do do both,” assistant general manager Gord Ash said. “He’s going to be Brooks Kieschnick reincarnate.”
Kieschnick became a fan favorite in 2003 and 2004, when he pitched, served as a designated hitter in interleague play, pinch-hit and also played a little outfield in the major leagues with the Brewers.
Owings last played in the Majors last season with the Padres. In 9.2 innings between April 6-25, he posted a 2.79 ERA. He then went on the disabled list after surgery to remove loose bodies from his right elbow. During the off-season, the Nationals signed him to a Minor League deal with the intent to use him exclusively as an outfielder. In 213 plate appearances with Triple-A Syracuse, Owings hit eight home runs and posted a .785 OPS. The Nationals, however, released him on July 1.
The Giants placed outfielder Hunter Pence on the 10-day disabled list with a right thumb sprain, per an official announcement on Friday. Pence initially sustained the injury during the club’s home opener on April 3, when he dove to intercept a line drive double from Robinson Cano and jammed his thumb. Weeks of playing through the pain hasn’t worked, so he’ll take a breather while the Giants give outfielder Mac Williamson a chance to start in left after getting called up from Triple-A Fresno.
Pence, 35, wouldn’t pin his recent struggles on his injury, but it’s clear that he’s having difficulty finding his footing this year. He slashed a meager .172/.197/.190 through 61 plate appearances in 2018, collecting just one extra-base hit and two walks during the Giants’ dismal 7-11 stretch. While it’s far too early in the season to make any final judgments, it doesn’t look like the veteran outfielder will be replicating the .275+ average, 4.0+ fWAR totals of years past (at least, not anytime soon).
Williamson, meanwhile, has gotten off to a hot start in Triple-A. Prior to his call-up this weekend, the 27-year-old batted an incredible .487/.600/1.026 with six home runs and a 1.626 OPS through his first 50 PA. A hot Triple-A bat doesn’t always survive the transition to the majors, but the Giants will use all the help they can get — especially as they take on the AL West-leading Angels this weekend.