Thursday, March 29, 2012

Duke signed, Perry optioned

Associated Press photo
Zach Duke was released by the Astros after going 0-3 with an 11.30 ERA this spring.
VIERA, Fla. -- Seeking pitching depth to stash away at Class AAA Syracuse, the Nationals have signed left-hander Zach Duke to a minor-league contract, the club announced this afternoon.

The Nationals also optioned reliever Ryan Perry to Syracuse following today's 6-3 victory over the Braves and announced outfielder Jason Michaels has been released.

Duke, 28, was released by the Astros on Tuesday, two days after he was shelled for 10 runs in 3 1/3 innings. Expected to compete for a spot in Houston's Opening Day rotation, the left-hander wound up 0-3 with an 11.30 ERA.

Duke does have considerable big-league experience, owner of a 48-74 record and 4.56 ERA in 181 career games with the Pirates and Diamondbacks. He's expected to join the rotation at Syracuse and could be called upon if the Nationals need an experienced starter at some point this season.

"Our depth is not what it was last year, the starting pitchers at that level," manager Davey Johnson said. "That was a good pick-up."

Perry, 25, made a good impression in his first camp with the Nationals. Acquired from the Tigers for fellow right-hander Collin Balester, he posted a 2.25 ERA in six relief appearances, striking out nine while walking two.

Michaels, 35, was reassigned to minor-league camp this morning after struggling this spring, but the veteran outfielder had an "out-clause" in his contract that didn't require him to report. The Nationals wound up releasing him, making him a free agent and giving him the opportunity to sign with another organization.

22 comments:

Les in NC said...

I hope he sticks in AAA for awhile, by the way everyone talks they could sure use him! I like the signing personally, doesn't really cost us anything and if things go severely wrong this season he could pitch in DC.

Anonymous said...

Three years ago, the Nats would have signed a pitcher like Duke and immediately put him in the rotation. Now, he's minor-league depth. Just another sign of how far this organization has come.

CN said...

These types of signings (vets assigned to AAA to serve as emergency fill-ins) serve as a note that the team expects to contend this year. Else like in years past when a SP is needed, the team would've thrown in a young pitcher making his debut straight from AA, stunting his development. This move allows the young pitchers to continue to mature while giving the major league club some options in case of emergency.

Anonymous said...

Three years ago, the Nationals would have run a marketing campaign playing up the fact that they had a Duke and a Dukes. And they would have done it with Natitude.

Theophilus said...

Yawn. Really. Ambien material.

Les in NC said...

And opposing teams could have said something like "put up your Dukes" and commenced to beat us to a pulp.....

hmmm... said...

they could have called it "put up your dukes"
(dukeses?)

glad it never happened.

hmm... said...

les - too fast for me

A DC Wonk said...

Too bad the Orioles of the last generation didn't sing him (Duke, Duke, Duke, Duke of Earl . . . )

(groan)

Natsochist said...

Attention webmasters - Impact is not a fun font for post titles. Boo.

Mark, do you think Nady would start OD in left over Bernadina?

Sunshine_Bobby_Carpenter_Is_Too_Pessimistic_For_Me said...

Three years ago, we would have signed Duke off the garbage heap ... and he would have started on opening day instead of (gulp!) Daniel Cabrera.

That opener against the Phils that day was one of the longest days of my life.

Exposremains said...

quite a lineup and SP that the Nats brought to Tigers. Isn't there a rule about having a few regulars in there.

Gonat said...

Unless you see something in Duke, its just a warm body for AAA. Not sure I get that.

Hondo69 said...

REPOSTED:

I just discovered that our other split-squad game is being televised on FSD (Fox Sports Detroit), Ch. 663 on DirecTV live at 6pm. It's also live on MLB.TV.

Anonymous said...

A warm body with a good deal of NL pitching experience. Plus a cheap contract. Not bad insurance to have stashed at AAA in case you need an emergency starter.

Section 3, My Sofa said...

Of course, if Elijah and Zack had combined to produce a come-from-behind win, you might say the Nats were able to Duke it out...

Thankfully, that need never happen.

Anonymous said...

If only we could have seen the Duke of Flatbush vs. the Duke of K Street.

Grandstander said...

Can we make a script for this site for when anyone types in "Daniel Cabrera" it shows up as "The Pitcher Who Shall Not Be Named"?

Not sure why anyone wouldn't like this signing, it's just a minor league deal for depth. As others said it speaks to how good a rotation we have now, but I think it also speaks to how cleaned out our high-level pitching prospects are due to the Gio trade. Instead of Peacock and Milone making spot starts it's going to be trash heap vets like Duke.

Not saying, just saying...

Theophilus said...

If Kate Middleton threw out the first pitch during a trip to DC, you'd call it "The Dukes and the Duchess."

Anonymous said...

So if they bring him up after SS hits his innings limit, it's just a little Duke's mayonnaise on top of the Strasburger.

Steady Eddie said...

Grandstander -- bet you $10,000 (Mitt Romney will cover it for me) that Zach Duke never wears a Nats uniform this season, unless he proves totally lights out and even then only as a September call-up.

We have Det, Gorzy, and Stammen -- you know, real pitchers -- to do spot starts if needed.

Rabbit said...

Duke, an experienced starter and experienced loser. Why the heck did we take him? Maybe he brought attention to himself with a 11 ERA?

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