Diamondbacks Release Russell Branyan

The Diamondbacks have released Russell Branyan according to Bob McManaman of The Arizona Republic. The move makes room on both the 25-man and 40-man rosters for Micah Owings.

Branyan, 35, was stuck in a three-way platoon with Juan Miranda and Xavier Nady at first base. He hit just .210/.290/.339 with one homer in 69 plate appearances, 17 of which came as a pinch-hitter. Dan Mennella looked at Branyan as a potential trade candidate last month, but now any club could pick him up for nothing but the minimum salary.

The 28-year-old Owings has a 4.85 ERA in seven Triple-A starts this year, and he's hit .250/.357/.500 in 14 plate appearances. The D'Backs indicated that they hoped to use Owings on the mound and occasionally at first base when they signed him to a minor league deal back in January.

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