ALTOONA, Pa. -- Standing at 6' 7", 260 pounds, Duke Welker is a big man. But he's got an even bigger arm. The right-hander has seen his fastball light up the radar guns throughout the Eastern League touching 98, 99 and even 100 in relief from the Altoona Bullpen.
Welker has made 13 appearances with Double-A Altoona in 2012, but it's enough for Manager P.J. Forbes to notice his potential.
"This guys going to pitch in the big leagues, there’s no question about it. It’s just a matter of when," Forbes said after the Curve's 3-1 win on Friday night.
Drafted by Pittsburgh in the second round of 2007, the Texas native was protected in the Rule 5 draft this past December after posting a combined 2.76 ERA over 44 appearances (62.0 innings) combined with High-A Bradenton and Double-A Altoona. Welker was promoted to the Curve on September 13, and went on to pitch ten innings with the club.
"The group of guys I’m with here are awesome," Welker said. "We love to work. It’...