Why yes, that's an All-Star patch on Mr. Duke's shoulder there.
The Houston Astros have signed left-handed pitcher Zach Duke to a minor league deal, according to Alyson Footer. The deal comes with an invite to Spring Training.
Duke, 28, played six seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates before being traded for a PTBNL (Cesar Valdez, anybody?) playing with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2011. He has a career 4.56 ERA and as Zachary Levine points out, is known for not walking -- or striking out -- his opponents. On a per-nine-innings basis, he's walked 2.4 and struck out 4.6 per game.
Somehow, he was named to the 2009 All-Star Game following an injury to Matt Cain (see picture featuring All-Star patch for proof).
- Twitter / @alysonfooter - "Astros sign LHP Zach Duke to Minor League contract & invite him to Spring Training. Pitched for Pirates and Dbacks previously.Texas native."
- Twitter / @zacharylevine - "Astros signee Zach Duke low-walk, very low K lefty. Spent 2011 with Arizona, 9 starts, 12 relief outings, 4.93 ERA."