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Duke in the MLB: Stroman makes offseason headlines, Loperfido finds success

<p>Marcus Stroman signed a three-year, $71 million deal with the Chicago Cubs in December.</p>

Marcus Stroman signed a three-year, $71 million deal with the Chicago Cubs in December.

It’s been six weeks since the professional baseball season started up following a chaotic offseason featuring a lockout and some big-name moves. Eighteen former Blue Devils began the 2022 season with professional clubs, including a major league, two Triple-A and four Double-A clubs, so it is about time we catch up with the former Duke baseball players both in the majors and climbing the ranks in the minors.

Marcus Stroman, P, Chicago Cubs

Stroman was in the news for more reasons than one over the last several months. First, as one of the most coveted names on the free agent market—it was no surprise when the Medford, N.Y., native left his old ballpark in Queens for the ivy-covered digs in Chicago’s Northside. The former Mets pitcher was lucky to have gotten his three-year, $71 million deal inked when he did, as just hours later, the sport underwent a long, tense winter during which commissioner Rob Manfred threatened to cancel games as part of the longest work stoppage in baseball since 1994. Stroman didn’t hold back his feelings about the labor negotiations, which ultimately were agreed upon with enough time to keep the entire season on the calendar.

With the season underway, the 31-year-old righty aimed to pick up where he left off in 2021, but he couldn’t quite match his production from a year ago. The former 22nd overall draft pick landed on the COVID-19 injured list May 8, though he looks to return to the hill soon, as he has since been cleared of COVID-19 protocols. When he does, the Duke product will make his sixth start of the year for a struggling Cubs team looking to get the 2019 All-Star back to form.

Joey Loperfido, OF, Fayetteville Woodpeckers (Houston Astros Class-A affiliate)

The 2021 ACC Baseball Championship Tournament MVP looked a bit outmatched in his first couple of months in Fayetteville, N.C., as he settled in with his professional organization and the higher-caliber competition. He slashed only .116/.276/.261 in his first 19 professional contests, but he looks to have gotten back a bit of the groove that sent him to a .374 average his final year in Durham. 

Through Tuesday, the Haddonfield, N.J., native hit a solid .302 with 10 runs driven in through 30 games. The Astros’ minor league club has also experimented with Loperfido at different spots around the field—he has logged innings at first, second, left, center and right, plus played a game as a designated hitter.

Bryce Jarvis, P, Amarillo Sod Poodles (Arizona Diamondbacks Class-AA affiliate)

The only Blue Devil to have thrown a perfect game finally got his shot in a major league uniform during March’s shortened Spring Training. Suited up next to the big leaguers, the right-hander did not quite bring his best stuff, as he got rocked in 2.2 innings of work and allowed five earned runs with two homers and a hit batter. Despite his less than favorable outing in the Cactus League, Jarvis returned to Amarillo, where he left off last season. 

He started his 2022 campaign with nearly identical numbers to that of 2021 at the Double-A level, throwing 30.2 innings over his first seven starts with a 5.58 earned run average and a decent 31-to-15 strikeout-to-walk ratio. 

Micah Hurewitz | Sports Managing Editor

Micah Hurewitz is a Trinity junior and a sports managing editor of The Chronicle's 118th volume.


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