Sep 18, 2013; Houston, TX, USA; Cincinnati Reds relief pitcher Zach Duke (30) pitches during the ninth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Starting pitcher Zach Duke signs Minor League contract with Milwaukee Brewers

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.

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.

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.

Tags: Cincinnati Reds Milwaukee Brewers Washington Nationals Zach Duke

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