BRADENTON, Fla. -- After back-to-back seasons in which left-hander Rudy Owens won the Pirates Minor League Pitcher-of-the-Year Award (2009, 2010), the 24-year-old had a down year in his first season at Triple-A in 2011.

Owens was expected by many to reach the majors towards the end of the 2011 season, but unfortunately things didn’t work out that way.

The left hander struggled in his first year with Triple-A Indianapolis, finishing the season on the disabled list with arm fatigue and had a 9-5 record and a 5.05 ERA over 21 starts (112.1 innings). Coming off a solid campaign with Double-A Altoona during the 2010 season, where he posted a 12-6 record with a 2.46 ERA, Owens said he has learned a lot through the struggles.

"You try to think of all the positive things that you’ve d...

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