Henry Owens’ numbers at the big league level were always a lot better than he actually is. One could argue he was extremely lucky for a guy who can’t throw his 88 mph fastball for a strike. Yesterday, however, his luck ran out.
Eight runs over five innings. That was the damage for Owens. And honestly, it is surprising it took him this long to completely implode. It was his 15th career big league outing. But it was bound to happen at some point. To this point, he had been kind of “effectively wild” because no one would swing at his pitches until he actually threw a strike.
OK, Owens is better than that. But you understand.
This year, however, a quick box score scouting report can explain everything to major league skippers as they prepare for Owens. He’s walked 18 batters in 17.1 innings this year. And yes, he’s lasted 17.1 innings in four outings.
Anyone who has watched Owens closely had little faith in his ability to do the job yesterday. And since he had so little notice and landed in Detroit for a 1:10 p.m. game at 9 a.m., it looked like Sunday could be that day. Even last year when he held his own at the big league level, many were waiting for this Owens collapse and it drove them crazy to see how lucky he was finding his way out of jams.
So what did Sunday prove exactly? Nothing. It just proved a point: Owens ain’t no big league starting pitcher. Sure, he throws well in the minors, but I played defensive tackle on JV in high school. So did I ever play it in a varsity game? Hell no. They let the handsome kids long snap.
If that doesn’t make sense, then how about this? Owens has walked 76 batters in 119.1 Triple-A innings this year. So what does that mean? He’s Quad-A.