Dodgers: Henry Owens will play a significant role in 2018

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 27: Henry Owens (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 27: Henry Owens (Photo by Rich Gagnon/Getty Images) /

The Los Angeles Dodgers recently claimed left-handed pitcher Henry Owens off of waivers. Although Owens has not found MLB success, he will play a big role for the Dodgers in 2018.

The Los Angeles Dodgers continued a relatively quiet offseason by making a relatively minor move. After agreeing to terms with Tom Koehler a few weeks ago, the Dodgers added another arm to the bullpen by claiming Henry Owens from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

This move was made after the Diamondbacks signed Japanese reliever Yoshihisa Hirano — a potential target for the Dodgers earlier in the offseason. Sure, the Dodgers did not land Hirano. What they did land though was a solid young arm with upside.

Owens has not been great in his short MLB career. Owens pitched for the Boston Red Sox in 2015 and 2016; making 16 starts in the process. With a career ERA of 5.19 in 85.0 innings pitched, Owens stock is nowhere close to where it was when he was in Boston’s farm system.

Owens was once a top prospect in baseball. In 2013 he first broke the plane as a top 100 prospect in baseball. Before the 2015 season, MLB Pipeline ranked Owens as the 19th best prospect ahead of guys like Andrew Benintendi.

Still, his run with the Red Sox was not the prettiest. Boston placed Owens on waivers in early December when the Diamondbacks claimed him. A few weeks later, Owens now finds himself a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Which is exactly where Owens needs to be to revitalize his career.

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Andrew Friedman has an unnatural knack to turn otherwise smaller acquisitions into superstars. Chris Taylor is perhaps his best turnout; Andrew Toles is another good mark on his resume.

Plus, the Dodgers have one of the best pitching coaches in baseball in Rick Honeycutt. Every pitcher that comes to LA thrives; when they leave they often regress. This had led the duo to turn guys with deadbeat careers into solid assets (see: Joe Blanton).

Owens fits the mold of a Dodgers’ reclamation project perfectly. He is a former top pitching prospect, selected in the first round, that has not found his potential and may be suited for a move to the bullpen.

That sounds awfully like former Dodgers’ reliever Brandon Morrow, who was by far the Dodgers best bullpen arm other than Kenley Jansen. Morrow was selected fifth overall in 2006. He was a top 100 prospect prior to his debut. His career as a starting pitcher never took off.

Then the Dodgers signed Morrow to a minor league deal prior to 2017. After a strong season, Morrow now finds himself $10 million richer as the likely closer for the Chicago Cubs. Henry Owens has this same potential. If anyone can get the most out of Owens, it will be the Dodgers.

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And that is exactly what is going to happen. Although the southpaw has no role in an already left-handed heavy rotation, he will act as a replacement for fellow southpaw Tony Watson. Henry Owens will play a significant role for the Dodgers in 2018, providing fans with a case of Deja Vu.