It’s hard to believe that former “red-hot” prospect pitcher Zach Duke is now 30 years old (and will be 31 during the 2014 season), but despite his recent struggles, he has a job opportunity for 2014.
LHP Zach Duke has signed minor-league contract with #Brewers with invitation to big-league spring training.
— Tom (@Haudricourt) January 15, 2014
Duke has inked a Minor League deal with the Milwaukee Brewers, and he’ll be looking to make the team out of spring training. The big left-hander had the worst year of his professional career in 2013 with two different teams (Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals), but 6.03 ERA in 31.1 innings is a bit misleading, given that his peripherals tell a bit of a different story.
That said, the days of Duke being a prime-time starting pitching option are long gone, and it appears that he’ll be a bullpen target for the Brewers.
Just confirmed that the #Brewers are looking at Zach Duke for the bullpen. Definitely opportunity there for a lefty.
— Adam McCalvy (@AdamMcCalvy) January 15, 2014
This makes all the sense in the world, and someone with Duke’s pure arm could fit quite nicely in a National League bullpen. His numbers against left-handed batters are significantly better than right-handers on a career basis, and with him as a long-relief option, it likely increases his chances of making the final, 25-man roster out of Spring Training.