Duke “on track” after soft-toss


CHICAGO — Left-hander Zach Duke (elbow pronator strain) threw soft-toss Sunday (25 tosses) and Monday (40 tosses). “Felt good,” Duke said. “I’m right on track.”

Duke is scheduled to throw a side session off the mound Friday. If the Pirates want Duke to throw two sides before beginning a rehab assignment, he’ll likely miss at least two more starts.

With Duke on the disabled list, Daniel McCutchen remains in line to make another spot start Thursday against the Philadelphia Phillies.

»»» Neil Walker (concussion) was sent back to Pittsburgh for a checkup and medical tests. No word yet from the Pirates about the results.

It is interesting to note, however, that infielder Aki Iwamura was a healthy scratch from the lineup tonight at Triple-A Indy. Could Walker be headed to the DL and Iwamura be back on his way to Pittsburgh?

»»» The Pirates signed three more draft picks, all right-handed pitchers out of colleges: Casey Sadler (25th round) of Western Oklahoma State, Jason Townsend (31st) of Alabama, and James Archibald (36th) of McLennan (Texas) CC.