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Owen Comfortable In Any Role
Throughout the first three seasons of his professional career, right-hander Dylan Owen has been a starting pitcher. After being selected in the 20th round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, Owen joined the Brooklyn Cyclones and showed tremendous promise, pitching to a 9-1 record and a 1.49 earned run average in 14 games (13 starts).
The following season, although he didn't match his gaudy 2007 numbers, he pitched well, ending the season with 12 wins and a 3.43 ERA in 24 starts with St. Lucie.
Owen's results didn't translate to the Double-A level in 2009. He had a 5.93 ERA in 23 starts for the Binghamton Mets. He began the 2010 season in the B-Mets rotation, in Brad Holt's rotation spot, and got off on the right foot.
He tossed five hitless innings in his season debut and allowed just one earned run in six innings in his following start. But after a wild third start, coupled with Brad Holt's return from injury, Owen was the odd man out and he was temporarily shifted to the bullpen (unless Eric Niesen went on the disabled list) for the first time of his career.
Although he's been a starter the past three seasons, the role change hasn't had much of an effect on Owen, who is satisfied as long as he's toeing the rubber.
"It doesn't bother me that much," he said. "In Spring Training this year I came out of the bullpen a lot. I just want to see innings and do my best when I do. As long as I'm pitching I'm happy."
Owen explained that the biggest change in moving to the bullpen is the fact that you may be called on to pitch at any given moment.
"In the bullpen you always have to be ready because you never know when they're going to call on you," he said. "Whereas a starter you know you're up on that fifth day so you know what to expect."
One of the things Owen worked on in Spring Training was paying careful attention to each pitch he threw.
"When I went out to the bullpen I made sure I was getting out in front and making sure I was concentrating on every pitch instead of just getting out there and be throwing just to be throwing," Owen explained.
Currently, Owen is still working on getting out in front, while trying to get more movement on his pitches.
"I'm just working on getting out in front and making sure I'm on top of the ball instead of getting on the side of it," Owen said. "When I get on top of it, it has more action and when I get out on the side, it's just flat. So I'm just working on getting on top of everything and extending."
Owen is comfortable with the state of his fastball. His main concern right now is being able to better compliment the fastball with the other pitches in his repertoire.
"I'd say the fastball is the most important pitch for any pitcher. I'm working on using my off speed pitches to work off of my fastball. I definitely have confidence in it."
Entering his second straight season in the Eastern League, Owen feels the current squad is showing a greater craving for victories after last season's poor performance.
"We're a lot hungrier this year because we had such a bad year (last year) and everyone wants to bounce back after that. We've got pretty much a whole new coaching staff, and we've been able to get some wins early on," Owen said.
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