February 10, 1986 |
|June 23, 2013 for the Pittsburgh Pirates|
(through 2013 season)
|Earned run average||0.00|
High school and college
Welker attended Woodinville High School in Woodinville, Washington. He was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 34th round (1023rd overall) in the 2004 Major League Baseball Draft, but chose to attend Seminole State College. He was drafted by the Mariners again, this time in the 39th round (1163rd overall) of the 2005 Major League Baseball Draft, but he did not sign again. He played for the Anchorage Glacier Pilots in the Alaska Baseball League in 2006. In August 2006, he transferred to the University of Arkansas, where he played college baseball for the Arkansas Razorbacks baseball team in the Southeastern Conference.
The Pittsburgh Pirates drafted Welker in the second round, with the 68th overall selection, of the 2007 Major League Baseball Draft. The Pirates initially planned to keep Welker as a starting pitcher. He struggled in his first professional seasons, before achieving better results. Welker was added to the Pirates' 40 man roster to protect him from the Rule 5 draft after the 2011 season.
Welker was called up by the Pirates from the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians on May 8, 2013. He was optioned back to Indianapolis on May 11. Welker made his major league debut on June 23, 2013, against the Los Angeles Angels, pitching a scoreless eighth inning in relief. He threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings for the Pirates before being optioned back to the minors. He maintained a 3-4 record plus a 3.25 ERA in 61 innings (41 games) with 9 saves and 64 strikeouts while in their AAA affiliate.
On August 31, Welker was announced as the probable player to be named later traded to the Twins (along with Alex Presley) for Justin Morneau. Because Welker was on the Pirates' 40-man roster, he was not officially traded to the Twins until October 5.  On November 19, Welker was traded back to the Pirates in exchange for LHP Kris Johnson.
Welker had Tommy John surgery on June 5, 2014. He was released by the Pirates on July 14, 2014.
- "Welker not household name, but there's hope - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette". Post-gazette.com. 2012-05-09. Retrieved 2012-05-14.
- "Diamond Hogs Welcome 23 Newcomers for 2007". August 21, 2006.
- Whiteford, Mike (2010-05-17). "Power's Welker moves beyond difficult year - Sports - The Charleston Gazette - West Virginia News and Sports". Wvgazette.com. Retrieved 2012-05-14.
- "Six minor leaguers join Pirates 40-man roster". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. November 19, 2011. Retrieved February 4, 2012.
- Wilmoth, Charlie (May 8, 2013). "Pirates promote Duke Welker, option Josh Harrison". Retrieved May 8, 2013.
- "Pirates activate Francisco Liriano, option Duke Welker". May 11, 2013. Retrieved May 11, 2013.
- Sawchik, Travis (November 19, 2013). "Pirates notebook: Bucs re-acquire pitcher Duke Welker from Twins for Kris Johnson". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.