When Zach Duke was designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the off-season, I wondered why? How do you give up on a decent young pitcher so soon? For the past three weeks, I now know why. Duke may be more fit for the bullpen rather than the starting rotation. If not the pen, who knows where? I do know his time in the rotation should be allowed to expire, immediately.
Duke got roughed up, again, in a 6-2 loss today to the Cleveland Indians. Before the game even started, I knew today was trouble. Sure enough, Duke didn’t disappoint that prediction, starting off slow and never really gaining any treading. Duke allowed 4 runs in first 3 innings. What was even more alarming was the pitch count. He was up to 62 pitches after 3 innings. With as spent as the bullpen is these days, clearly you know at this point this would not be the day of rest the pen was waiting for.
Before just getting rid of Duke all together, I would give him a shot in the pen. Short term pitching may be better suited for him, I don’t know? I do know he can no longer be a part of this rotation if the Dbacks want to entertain any hopes of winning the division or even being in the conversation come September. The replacement for Duke is an even bigger question. To me, I gues at this point maybe you bring Micah Owings back in and see what he can do.