While this move isn’t grand on the scale, the Diamondbacks have added depth to their rotation by claiming Henry Owens from the Boston Red Sox. Owens was drafted by assistant GM Amiel Sawdaye in the sandwich round of the 2011 draft (36th overall). Owens was a consensus Top 50 prospect (#44 Baseball America, #19 MLB Pipeline, #46 Baseball Prospectus) in the Red Sox organization prior to the 2015 season, but things didn’t pan out from 2016 onward. He was placed on outright waivers earlier this week when his control regressed and struggled for the Red Sox’s AAA affiliate.
With the Diamondbacks claiming him, that gives Owens a fresh start with a front office that drafted him six seasons ago when they were in the Red Sox organization. Owens comes in at a 6’6” frame with long arms, which allows his 90 MPH heater to play faster than the velocity readings. He also uses a curveball, slider, and change-up, but none of the pitches play particularly well off each other. Command has been a big issue for Owens due to his length and how his delivery doesn’t maximize his height effectively. Those were similar problems to what Randy Johnson experienced before figuring things out and having a Hall of Fame career. Johnson had a similar style delivery in his playing days, so there Owens does have help from inside the organization to fix his problems.
From the Diamondbacks perspective, it’s a great flyer addition to a player who had large expectations as a prospect. Owens has 1 more option remaining, so the team can stash him in AA or AAA while he works on fixing his mechanics and refining his stuff. If the starter role doesn’t work out, the team can shift him into relief where he can be a useful left-handed reliever in some capacity. Realistically I don’t have high expectations until he comes back and proves himself at the MLB level. Sometimes a change in scenery is what a player needs in order to hit the reset button and this presents Owens with an opportunity to do just that. This waiver claim puts the Diamondbacks 40-man roster at 38 players.