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News & notes, Friday edition

Posted by Andy on September 28, 2007

  • Not to go too crazy here, but Micah Owings just completed the greatest hitting season for a pitcher ever (well, since 1901, and, well, if you're judging just by OPS.) He capped off an amazing season yesterday with a ho-hum 4-for-4 performance with 3 doubles and 3 RBI. (And he pitched shutout ball into the 7th inning in a critical game for the Diamondbacks.) He finishes the year with a 1.050 OPS, tops among pitchers with at least 40 plate appearances in a season since 1901. His 12 extra-base hits are tied for 28th all-time and are the most singe Ferguson Jenkins' 14 in 1971. It's time for the Diamondbacks to seriously think about using him as a pinch-hitter, and if the kid can play some outfield, he might even get a few starts there in between mound appearances. (Editor's note: much to my surprise, Arizona did use Owings as a PH and his OPS for the season dropped a bit. See the comments below.)
  • Lost in the hoopla of the Mets' collapse is that Jesus Matty Moises Alou had a 30-game hit streak snapped yesterday. That's the longest in the majors this year. Ichiro had a streak of 25 and another of 19 this year...not too shabby. (I kept in the Jesus and Matty because I did actually start to type those names by accident...only Felipe's name didn't come out.) By the way, Alou is hitting .344 on the year, giving him 4 seasons in his career with at least 300 ABs and a batting average higher than .330. Not too shabby.
  • Ryan Howard did it! In yesterday's game, he finally broke the tie with Adan Dunn and moved into first place all-time for most strikeouts in a season. Of course, nobody cares since it happened after his 2-run first-inning HR put the Phillies up 4-0 and allowed them to tie the Mets for first place. I'm sure Howard would love to avoid striking out 3 times in the last 3 games, to finish below the magic number of 200.
  • Yesterday I was reminded of something I had forgotten: Braves reliever Ron Mahay actually made it to the big leagues as an outfielder with Boston in 1995, getting a homer and 3 RBI in 20 ABs. As you can see from his minor league stats, starting in 1996 he went back to single-A to become a pitcher. He had a very nice season as a lefty reliever this year.

4 Responses to “News & notes, Friday edition”

  1. spartanbill Says:

    Ryan Howard may have the record for now, but I look for Jack Cust to make a strong run at it in 2008. Through Saturday's game he has 163 K in 390 AB (41.8%)

  2. zimcity Says:

    Owins struck out as a pinch hitter tonight dropping his OPS to 1.032, still tied with the Big Train for 4th.

  3. Andy Says:

    I give Arizona a ton of credit for pinch-hitting Owings. I'd like to see them continue to do that.

  4. spartanbill Says:

    If Ariz makes it as far as the WS, Micah Owings actually looks like the best DH candidate the D-backs have.

    With Hudson hurt, their only players with OPS* over 100 are Reynolds 111, Jackson 109, Clark 104, and Byrne 103.

    It seems that melvis only other option would be Conor Jackson, with Clark at 1B. This is especially true ahainst RHP's, which for the AL means everyone starter but Sabathia, Petitte and maybe Joe Saunders.

    It will be interesting to see if Melvin has the cajones to try it.

    And for those who think 64 PA's is too small a sample, his Minor league numbers are .371/.375/.516 in about 66 PA.

    Back in 1920 the Yankees acquired some lefty from the red Sox, and moved him to right field to take advantage of his bat. I wonder what ever happened to that guy.