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Pirates promote Duke Welker, option Josh Harrison


There were rumblings about this yesterday, but now it's official -- the Pirates have promoted Duke Welker and optioned Josh Harrison. The Pirates didn't really need an 18th utility infielder, and Harrison was just with the team because he happened to be in Pittsburgh anyway as an insurance policy in case Jose Tabata was unable to play.

Welker had struck out 20 batters and walked eight while allowing no runs in 16 innings at Triple-A, and he has very good stuff, so it should be fun to see him get a shot. Kudos to him, too, for finally making the majors, almost six years after being drafted (out of college!) in the second round. All the way back in 2008 and 2009, he didn't look like he had much of a future at all, and it wasn't until 2012 that he started to post the sorts of numbers you'd hope for from a prospect. The Pirates' many floundering 2009 draftees can look to his example, even if they don't have his stuff.