Jun 6, 2014, 1:42 PM EDT
Pittsburgh just announced that hard-throwing minor leaguer Duke Welker underwent Tommy John elbow surgery, knocking the 28-year-old right-hander out for the remainder of this season and likely much of next year.
Welker was traded from the Pirates to the Twins for Justin Morneau in August, but then before he ever appeared in a game for Minnesota’s organization he was later traded back to Pittsburgh for minor leaguer Kris Johnson.
There was really no firm explanation given for the odd pair of moves at the time, although considering Welker made nine appearances at Triple-A this season before being shut down presumably a pre-existing injury wasn’t to blame.
Welker made his MLB debut with the Pirates last season and has a 3.32 ERA with 110 strikeouts in 106 innings at Triple-A.
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