Another good one for Owings
Fifth starter hopeful Micah Owings had a very strong performance in his latest start on Sunday. Against the Blue Jays, Owings had the following line:
4 IN, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 6 K
“Micah is sharp,” Reds manager Dusty Baker said. “He’s sharp with his off-speed stuff, especially this early. He had a good changeup going, a good sinker. And he threw the ball great. He had a great rhythm going.”
Owings struck out three of his first four batters and five of the first seven. The one hit was well-placed double just inside the left field foul line. His pitches looked to moving well on both sides of the plate and all but one of his strikeouts were swinging. After his lone walk allowed with two outs in the third, he retired the side in order in the fourth.
Spring Training or not, that was a strong performance and Owings didn’t discount it.
“Too many times, you sit in a chair here and you guys are coming up and I don’t know what to say,” Owings said. “I dread even going through it. But I enjoyed that one.”
Through three starts, Owings has a 1.69 ERA (2ER over 10 2/3 IN) with 12 strikeouts.
I projected before camp that Owings would be the fifth starter and he’s looking like the strongest contender. But Homer Bailey is making this a great battle in camp. Nick Masset has had one good start and one bad.
“There are still some things I can keep working on – building up my arm strength so I can go deeper in the games,” Owings said. “That will be my focus. I threw a few pitches there where I got out of synch.”
Also having a terrific camp is left field candidate Jonny Gomes, who hit a two-run home run to left field in the fourth inning. Gomes, a non-roster invite, is batting .429 (6-for-14) with two homers and nine RBIs in eight spring games.
Because he’s not assured of a roster spot, Gomes felt it was important to get off to a hot start to keep him in favor with decision makers.
“Most definitely,” Gomes said. “Not being on the 40-man roster, a Minor League invite, when it comes it down to cut time, I don’t think you have a good argument with ‘let me get 20 more at-bats.’ I had to come in here ready, physically, mentally and all of the above. I think I have. It’s paying off for me right now.”