PITTSBURGH (AP) -Pirates left-hander Zach Duke was placed on the 15-day disabled list Sunday after skipping a planned throwing session and will have tests Monday on his sore left elbow.
Duke, who has slumped following a breakout rookie season in 2005, has been bothered by tightness in the elbow that was apparently caused by tendinitis. The tests Monday will determine whether there is any structural damage inside Duke's elbow.
``I still felt the same, so there wasn't any reason for me to throw today,'' Duke said. ``It's scary to have to miss time in the rotation like this. This is my first time with something like this. I've never gone through this before.''
Duke (3-7, 5.79 ERA) will be replaced in the starting rotation Tuesday against Milwaukee by right-hander Shane Youman, who is 4-6 with a 4.70 ERA in 15 starts at Triple-A Indianapolis. Youman was 0-2 with a 2.91 ERA in five Pirates games late last season.
Duke, the Pirates' opening-day starter in Houston, has been effective only sporadically. He allowed five runs or more in six of his last eight starts, not lasting more than six innings in any of the eight.
Duke gave up six runs and 12 hits in four innings of a 9-7 loss to Florida on Thursday. His 141 hits allowed are easily the most in the majors and opposing hitters are hitting .364 against him - an average that would be the highest in the NL by an individual hitter. He has given up 10 homers.
Still, neither the Pirates nor Duke disclosed there was any potential serious problem in the elbow until Friday. Until then, there was speculation Duke might be sent to Triple-A to work out his problems.
``This is uncharted territory for me,'' Duke said. ``I just want to get back as fast as I can.''
Duke has struggled to control his breaking ball since his standout rookie season, when he was 8-2 with a 1.81 ERA following a midseason callup. He is 13-22 since then, giving up a major-league high 396 hits in 308 2-3 innings.

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail World Series opener pits Lester vs. Kluber Two title-starved organizations are ready to kick off one of the most intriguing World Series matchups we’ve seen in some time.
Thumbnail Kershaw tries to keep visitors' run going The Cubs seized a 3-2 edge in the NLCS by winning Games 4 and 5 in Los Angeles. Will Clayton Kershaw be able to save the Dodgers’...
Thumbnail North Siders' bats rise as NCLS progresses Anthony Rizzo is still batting well below .200 in the playoffs. Yet the Chicago first baseman seems to be heating up at precisely...
Thumbnail Hosts ask Urias to give them 3-1 NLCS edge Tonight, Julio Urias will make history in Game 4 of the NLCS. The Dodgers simply hope that it’s for all the right reasons.
Thumbnail Francona needs relief corps to thrive again The Blue Jays suddenly have life in the NLCS. Now, though, can they truly put fear in the Indians and send the festivities back to northern...
More inMLB Articles  

MLB Team Pages