"If a pitcher can hit, it's a plus," Marlins general manager Dan Jennings said. "He can do that."
Owings a few days ago signed a Minor League contract with Miami, and he is getting into game shape initially in extended spring training in Jupiter, Fla. Once he is ready, he will join Triple-A New Orleans' rotation.
The Marlins had considered signing Owings to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.
"We talked about it," Jennings said. "What we needed to do was to make sure we had a spot."
A roster spot wasn't available in February or March, but an opportunity is there now for the 31-year-old, who last year gave up pitching in hopes of making it as an outfielder.
Marlins assistant general manager Mike Berger was formerly in the D-backs' organization, and he had a good read on Owings, who broke in with Arizona in 2007.
"Mike Berger saw him a few times," Jennings said. "He liked the way the arm worked. We've all seen him since high school."
After giving outfield a shot, Owings has decided to return full-time to pitching. The fact he can hit gives him value down the road.
"That was his decision, to pitch," Jennings said. "That's what prompted Berger to go have a look. You are going to use pitchers. You can never have enough pitchers."