It’s Opening Day for Major League Baseball!
As the baseball season gets underway today, you might be wondering which Illinois alums are currently playing for a big league team?
Well, the answer is fairly simple.
Roark, 31, is a right-handed pitcher for the Washington Nationals. He played for Illinois in 2006 and 2007 and was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 25th round in 2008.
He finished last season 13-11 with a 4.67 ERA in 30 starts.
While Roark is alone in the Majors, there are a handful of Illini on the cusp of cracking a big league squad.
Tyler Jay (2013-15 with Illinois) is with the Minnesota Twins’ AA club, but he finished 2017 with the high-A team.
LF Willie Argo (2009-12) is bouncing between A and AA the Seattle Mariners.
LHP Kevin Duchene (2013-15) has been in rookie ball since being drafted in 2015.
OF Ryan Nagle (2013-15) is starting 2018 with the Pittsburgh Pirates’ A ball team, West Virginia Power.
RHP Cody Sedlock (2014-16) is in the Baltimore Orioles’ organization in high-A ball.
The catcher for the insanely good 2015 Illinois team, Jason Goldstein, appeared in 72 games in A ball for the Oakland Athletics in 2017.
SS Adam Walton is playing with the in-state Kane County Cougars, batting .266 last season.
Lastly, Pat McInerney, the slugging first baseman who graduated in 2017, signed with the Milwaukee Brewers as an undrafted free agent last summer. He’ll continue in rookie league to open 2018.