Pirates Send Duke Welker To Twins To Complete Justin Morneau Deal
By Tom Smith
Mar 1, 2013; Sarasota, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Duke Welker throws against the Baltimore Orioles during the bottom of the sixth inning of a spring training game at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports
Duke Welker was announced by the Pittsburgh Pirates the player that will be sent to the Minnesota Twins for 1B Justin Morneau. back at the waiver deadline.
The rumor had been in circles since the trade was announced, but today the Bucs and Twins made it official.
Welker struggled with control throughout his minor league career, but could always blow heat and was protected on the 40-man roster despite not having the best numbers in the minors. Welker made it to the big club this season and the experience proved a benefit for the Bucs in acquiring Morneau to solidify their lineup.
The Bucs picked Welker in the second round back in 2007. He went to the University of Arkansas, but always struggled to find a third pitch. He was considered a bust in my eyes especially when he struggled badly as a starter putting up big numbers when the little ones are coveted.
It took him until 2010 to get it figured out when he was moved to the bullpen. Between Low-A and High-A he put up a 3.60 ERA pitching against much younger competition.
He posted a 2.29 ERA with a 49/25 K/BB in 55 innings between AA and Triple A Indy last season. This year he struckout 64 in 62 innings for Indy.
Good move by the Bucs, not one I would like to see them make every season, but a necessary one at the time.