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Prospect Owens healthy after missing most of 2013


KISSIMMEE, Fla. -- The spring brought renewed optimism for left-hander Rudy Owens, who missed nearly all of last season after suffering a stress fracture in his left foot.

"My foot is good to go," said Owens, who was acquired from the Pirates in the Wandy Rodriguez trade in 2012. "I'm just kind of getting it used to running around in spikes all day again. It's good to go. It's 100 percent, for what it's worth now."

Owens made up for some lost time when he pitched for the Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican Winter League. He made 10 starts and went 3-2 with a 2.68 ERA, striking out 49 batters and walking 16 in 53 2/3 innings.

"It's pretty annoying, you know, going through surgery and having to get used to walking in it," he said. "That was the worst part. It hurt more than it ever did before, just getting used to walking again. Running was hard, but pitching was fine. I didn't have any problem with that. I threw down in the Dominican and it didn't give me any problems, and I'm excited for this year."

Owens is likely headed to the Triple-A rotation to begin the season, but could make his Major League debut at some point this year.

"I want to prove that I'm healthy and good to go," he said.

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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