Duke Welker Promoted to Indianapolis

According to Cory Giger, Duke Welker has been promoted to Indianapolis. The right-hander threw a perfect inning in relief today, striking out one. On the season with Altoona, Welker had a 2.31 ERA in 23.1 innings, with a 19:7 K/BB ratio. The walks were a very positive sign, as it was only two years ago that Welker was walking a batter an inning, and walking more than he struck out.

Welker has the stuff to be a late inning reliever, and even a closer. He throws his fastball in the 96-98 MPH range, and has touched 100 MPH this year. He has an upper 80s slider with sharp break, which is a plus pitch that he uses for strikeouts and an extreme ground ball ratio. This year in Altoona he posted a 3.55 GO/AO ratio, which is up from his 3.06 GO/AO ratio last year. Part of that is also due to his heavy fastball, which leads to a lot of grounders.

Welker’s promotion follows the promotion of Jeff Inman to Altoona earlier today. Welker was added to the 40-man roster over the off-season, and could have a shot at the majors this year, as his arm probably doesn’t need much time in Triple-A now that he’s drastically cut down on his walks.

Tim Williams

Author: Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • leadoff

    Great news, I was pulling for Welker, hope he makes it to the majors this year, also I really like Inman, so good day for the Bucs.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=72405411 Ian Rothermund

      I just hope that guys like Morris and Welker will or would get the nod over someone like D-Cutch. Grilli and Cruz have done well so far this year but theyre old, so you never know.

  • burgh_fan

    Wonder what the corresponding move will be in AAA. I know it will probably just be a DL placement or something of that nature but could it be a precursor to someone coming up like say Doug Slaten who has an opt out clause on June 1st.

    The again chances are if it was Slaten his spot would be taken by the reliever being sent down but he needs added to the 40 man roster so could they be in the process of a trade or maybe DFA Resop.

    Ehh … probably reading too much into it. Let us know which RP is placed on the DL, demoted or sent to extended spring training.

    • http://www.piratesprospects.com Tim Williams

      Jo-Jo Reyes to the DL. He had a hamstring injury the other day.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=72405411 Ian Rothermund

        He looks like a fatty, it was only a matter of time.