Saturday, March 25, 2006

Zach Duke's Horoscope Promising

The stars seem to be aligning for Pirates '05 rookie Zach Duke to have a big year if he's got one in him. If Duke can get past the perennial sophomore jinx, circumstances could not be favoring him better as he has been dropped to the No. 3 spot in the rotation, meaning he will face mostly second tier opposition pitchers. Also, as a lefthander, Duke can force most righthanded batters to hit flies where they go to die in Pittsburgh's caverous left field. Moreover, Pittsburgh's offense has been punched up, as has the defense. Duke, who has a low-90s fastball, has been regarded as something of an overachiever after going 8-2 with a 1.81 ERA in 81 innings last year for the Pirates, and 12-3 with a 2.92 ERA for Triple A Indianapolis.

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