Friday, June 14, 2013

Reds sign Zack Duke to minor league contract

The Reds have signed veteran left-handed pitcher Zach Duke to a minor league contract, according to John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Duke, 30, was recently released by the Washington Nationals after tallying an 8.71 ERA in 12 appearances spanning 20.2 innings.

Duke was assigned to Triple-A Louisville and catcher Konrad Schmidt was released to make room on the roster.

Although Duke struggled in his stint with the Nationals this season, he boasted a respectable 15-5 record and 3.51 ERA in Triple-A last year.

The former highly-touted Pirates prospect was once considered one of the most promising southpaw starting pitchers in the game when he broke into the majors in 2005. He finished fifth in National League Rookie of the Year voting in '05 after recording a 1.81 ERA and an 8-2 record as a 22-year-old.

He continued to be a fixture in Pittsburgh's rotation through the end of 2010, however, compiled a sub-par 37-68 record over that time frame. He did earn a trip to the All-Star Game in 2009, though.

The addition of Duke by the Reds is likely an effort to provide more left-handed pitching depth in the organization while Sean Marshall continues to rehab from injury.

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