Astros ink Duke to minor league deal

The Houston Astros on Friday agreed to terms handed pitcher Zach Duke on a minor league contract that includes an invitation to spring training.

Duke spent the 2011 campaign with the Arizona Diamondbacks, compiling a 3-4 record and a 4.93 earned run average in 21 appearances (nine starts). Duke started the season, his first one with the Diamondbacks, on the disabled list with a fractured pitching hand.

The Texas native was a 2001 draft pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates, with whom he spent his first six pro seasons. Duke was selected to the All-Star game in 2009 while with the Pirates.

In 181 games (168 starts), Duke has compiled a record of 48-74 with a 4.56 ERA and 537 strikeouts.