The guys over at This is Getting Old are reporting that Duke Welker is on his way to Pittsburgh, and likely to officially join the team after Jeanmar Gomez makes his start tonight. Gomez would be unavailable for a few days after the start, which would create a need for a bullpen arm.
Welker has been on the 40-man roster for the last year, and is a legit bullpen prospect. He’s a bit older than most prospects, currently 27 years old, but has the stuff to be a potential late inning reliever. Welker throws in the upper 90s and has hit 100 in the past. He also throws a hard slider which is a plus offering. This year he’s been off to a great start with Indianapolis, throwing 16 innings without an earned run. Welker has allowed three hits in that span, and has a 20:8 K/BB ratio. Control has always been an issue, but he’s made some good strides the last two years, getting his walk rate down to the 4.5 BB/9 range. As long as he has the upper 90s fastball and the plus slider to limit hits and rack up the strikeouts, he can live with the walks.