Before the Blue Devils get started in the NCAA tournament, the Blue Zone takes a look at some Duke alumni succeeding professionally:
Marcus Stroman, P, Chicago Cubs
Stroman continued his stellar beginning to the season this week for the Cubs, making two quality starts. In an April 24th matchup with the Mets, the right-hander went eight innings, only giving up four hits and conceding two runs. Stroman’s next start came against the red-hot Tampa Bay Rays on Memorial Day, and the ace delivered in front of the home crowd at Wrigley Field. Stroman turned in one of the best starts of his career and one of the best so far this MLB season by any pitcher, throwing a complete game shutout while only allowing one hit and striking out eight Tampa Bay hitters.
At the close of May, Stroman is sporting a 2.59 ERA with 73 innings pitched. Chicago has needed every start from their ace to be a good one, as they currently have a 24-30 record, the fourth best mark in the NL Central. Due to Stroman’s excellent performance relative to his team, the ace could be a prime trade target at the deadline for a contender looking for another bonafide starter. The former Duke standout is scheduled to make his next start June 4 against the San Diego Padres.
Matt Mervis, 1B, Chicago Cubs
Since being called up to the show, Mervis has had a rocky start to his major league career. In 62 at-bats in the majors, the first baseman has tallied 12 hits and two home runs, while also driving in seven runs. However, the former Blue Devil turned in arguably the best single game performance of his early major league career May 23 against the Mets. During this contest, Mervis went 2-for-3 at the dish while scoring two runs, driving in three and slugging a home run.
After his first month in the big leagues, Mervis sports a .194 batting average along with a .275 on-base percentage and a .307 slugging percentage. The slugger will look to improve during the month of June, hoping to help lift up a struggling Cubs lineup.
Bryce Jarvis, P, Reno Aces (Arizona Diamondbacks’ Triple-A affiliate)
This week, the former Duke ace made his sixth start in Triple-A, facing off against the El Paso Chihuahuas. Unfortunately for the right-hander, it was arguably his worst outing yet for the Aces. Jarvis only lasted 2.2 innings, allowing six runs on five hits and three walks. On the bright side, Jarvis was able to strike out seven batters in his short appearance.
Through six games, Jarvis now has a 5.73 ERA in Triple-A ball. The former Blue Devil starter will attempt to bounce back in his next start for Reno, or he may be in danger of getting relegated back down to Double-A.
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