Phil Miller covered three seasons of Twins baseball, but that was at a different ballpark for a different newspaper. Now Miller returns to the baseball beat after joining the Star Tribune as the Gopher football writer in 2010, and he won't miss the dingy dome for a minute. In addition to the Twins and Gophers, Miller covered the Utah Jazz and the NBA for six years at The Salt Lake Tribune.

Twins acquire reliever Welker in Morneau deal

Posted by: Phil Miller under MLB, Major league trades Updated: October 5, 2013 - 3:53 PM

    The Pirates on Saturday sent former second-round pick Duke Welker to the Twins to complete the Justin Morneau trade.

    Welker, a righthanded reliever, appeared in two games for Pittsburgh last season, pitching 1 1/3 scoreless innings. The 6-foot-7 former Seminole State pitcher, drafted in the second round in 2005, had a 3.57 ERA with 65 strikeouts and 31 walks in 63 innings for Class AAA Indianapolis in 2013. He is expected to compete for a spot in the Twins' bullpen next spring.

    "He's got a good slider he likes to use a lot," said Alex Presley, the outfielder who was also acquired Aug. 31 in exchange for Morneau. "He's a two-pitch guy who runs it up there 96, 97 [mph]. He's had one of the better years of his career this year, and he's building off that."

    The Twins and Pirates agreed at the time of the trade on a group of players that the final player traded would be drawn from. The choice of which one to send to Minnesota was Pittsburgh's general manager Terry Ryan said.

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