Duke in the MLB: Jarvis falters, Loperfido and Stroman impress as season continues

<p>Former Duke pitcher Marcus Stroman has quickly established himself as a reliable asset in the major leagues.</p>

Former Duke pitcher Marcus Stroman has quickly established himself as a reliable asset in the major leagues.

As Duke baseball gears up for the end of the season, Blue Devil alumni are hard at work in the professional leagues. The Blue Zone examines some previous Duke players performing at the highest levels of the pro game: 

Bryce Jarvis, P, Arizona Diamondbacks

The 26-year-old from Lexington, Ky., has continued to establish his role as a closer for the Arizona Diamondbacks after a solid start to the season. Jarvis had some notable performances in the early games thus far, which included closing out a 7-0 win against the New York Yankees back on April 2. So far, he has been able to rely heavily on his slider and four-seam fastball, of which he continues to improve as the season progresses. 

Jarvis has averaged a 3.75 ERA in the month of April, well below his 4.20 average ERA for the season. That being said, he is still in the process of improving his consistency and durability as a pitcher. In his most recent April 24 game, Jarvis played for only 0.1 innings while conceding two runs and accumulating an ERA of 4.20. Despite the fact that the Duke alum only conceded three contact hits during the game and threw eight strikes, the one base hit that he gave up was costly for the Diamondbacks as they conceded two runs afterwards en route to a 5-1 loss against the St. Louis Cardinals. Jarvis will have a chance to recover when Arizona takes on the Seattle Mariners April 27. 

Joey Loperfido, OF, Sugar Land Space Cowboys (Houston Astros’ Triple-A affiliate)

Just when it seemed like Joey Loperfido’s season couldn’t get any better, the Philadelphia native followed his dominant April 12 performance with five accumulated runs over the last three games. Of those five total runs, Loperfido tallied three against the Reno Aces during an April 24 contest, where he also logged two solo home runs. Not known for his batting strength during his tenure at Duke, Loperfido has continued to demonstrate that he does indeed deserve merit as a powerful hitter that can send the ball over the wall. He has also now racked up 12 home runs with an impressive 26 RBI between March and April. In doing so, Loperfido joins former Triple-A batter, Yordan Alvarez, as one of only two batters to reach the dozen dinger mark between March and April. In the April 24 game against the Aces, Loperfido also only saw two pitches before launching a 457-foot bomb to accumulate his 11th home run of the season. It is still uncertain whether or not Loperfido will indeed get the chance to play for the Houston Astros this year, but nonetheless, at just 24 years of age, Loperfido has more than enough time to continue growing as a hitter for the Sugar Land Space Cowboys. 

Marcus Stroman, P, New York Yankees

After struggling somewhat against the Miami Marlins April 10 and conceding his first loss of the season, Stroman played almost impeccably against the Oakland Athletics. The Medford, N.Y., native struck out nine batters after playing an impressive 5.1 innings en route to a 2.93 ERA for the night. The Duke alum began the season with incredible consistency but appeared to be faltering just before he bounced back yet again against Oakland. Stroman is above-average in strikeouts for the season, with his accumulated 28 tying him for 45th place in the MLB. He continues to be a centerpiece for New York, playing an accumulated 21.2 innings in April alone. As the season progresses, it will be Stroman who the Yankees continue to rely upon as their primary pitcher, barring any roster changes. 


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