Washington Nationals Sign LHP Zach Duke

By Ryan Gaydos

The Washington Nationals have announced, per its Twitter account, that they signed left-handed pitcher Zach Duke to a minor league deal. Duke was released by the Houston Astros earlier in the week.

Duke has pitched for seven years in the major leagues. He made his debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2005. He pitched in 14 games and was 8-2 with a 1.81 ERA.

Since that inaugural season with the Pirates, Duke has not had a winning record. Duke’s earned runs allowed ballooned to 107 from 17 following his debut season. In 2009, Duke lost 16 games and led the National League. He followed up his 2009 performance with an 8-15 season.

Duke’s career had high hopes but has quickly fallen out of the loop.

In November 2010, Duke was traded by the Pirates to the Arizona Diamondbacks for Cesar Valdez. Duke played in 21 games for Arizona in a relief role. He started in nine games and was 3-4 with a 4.93 ERA.

In Duke’s seven seasons, he has compiled a record of 48-74 and a 4.56 ERA. He has allowed 11 H/9, 2.4 BB/9, 4.6 K/9 and a 1.490 WHIP.

Duke will try to break into the Nationals bullpen that already includes Ross Detwiler, Tom Gorzelanny and Ryan Perry. Duke has no chance of making the rotation that will see Edwin Jackson and John Lannan at the back end of it.

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