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.