Former Hog Duke Welker called up by Pirates

FAYETTEVILLE ( – Former Arkansas pitcher Duke Welker was called up to the big leagues by the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday.

Welker becomes the sixth former Razorback that's currently on an active roster in Major League Baseball. Welker joins Craig Gentry (Texas Rangers), Eric Hinske (Arizona Diamondbacks), Dallas Keuchel (Houston Astros), Cliff Lee (Philadelphia Phillies) and Drew Smyly (Detroit Tigers) as former Arkansas baseball players that are currently in the majors.

Before getting called up to the big league team, Welker had pitched in 10 games, all in relief, for the Indianapolis Indians, the Triple-A team of the Pirates. Welker had compiled a 3-0 record and only allowed one unearned run in 16 innings of work for the Indians.

In seven seasons in professional baseball, Welker has pitched in 197 games and has a career record of 16-35 with 18 saves and a 4.13 ERA.

Welker pitched one year at Arkansas, posting a 7-5 record with a 3.59 ERA in 18 starts. In 97.2 innings, Welker struck out 80 batters and held the opposition to a .224 batting average.