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Illini in the MLB: Opening Day 2019

Baseball season is underway!

St Louis Cardinals v Washington Nationals Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Eight former Illini will be suiting up to play baseball this year, either in the Major Leagues or in a farm system. Here’s a brief overview of the Illini you should be following this year, playing professional baseball.

Tanner Roark, SP, Cincinnati Reds

Roark, who played for Illinois from 2006-07, was traded to the Cincinnati Reds during the offseason, following a multi-year stint with the Washington Nationals.

Last year, Roark went 9-15 in 30 starts, with a 4.34 ERA and 146 strikeouts.

Tyler Jay, RP, Rochester Red Wings (MIN - AAA)

The left-handed reliever will begin the 2019 season on the Minnesota Twins’ AAA roster, after spending all of last year playing AA ball. There, Jay had a 4.22 ERA over 38 games, with a 4-5 record and two saves in six opportunities.

Cody Sedlock, RP, Frederick Keys (BAL - High A)

Sedlock will return to play at the High-A level this year, following an injury-shortened 2018 campaign where he played across three different levels, putting up a cumulative 5.11 ERA across 13 games and 37 innings pitched.

Jason Goldstein, C, Midland RockHounds (TEX - AA)

Goldstein will once again be the catcher for the Double-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers. Last year, he posted a .229 average with seven RBI at both the Double-A and High A levels.

Pat McInerney, 1B, Carolina Mudcats (MIL - High A)

McInerney made his presence known in 2018, moving up to High-A ball. After impressive performances at the Single-A level, McInerney will look to improve in High-A, where he struggled last year, batting .112 with five RBI in 33 games.

Bren Spillane, RF, Billings Mustangs (CIN - Rookie)

Spillane made quite the impact in his first professional season after being drafted by the Reds organization, where he slashed .236/.375/.439, with five home runs and 22 RBI.

Everyone is expecting big things from last year’s National Player of the Year in his first full season of pro ball — especially being the highest-drafted position player in Illinois history.

Dorin Turchin, CF, Aberdeen IronBirds (BAL - Short A)

In Turchin’s first season in the minor leagues, he batted .197 with two home runs and 10 RBI over the course of 21 games.

Joey Gerber, RP, West Virginia Power (SEA - A)

Gerber got his professional career off to a hot start, moving up from the Short-A roster to the Full-A roster in his first season. Across both levels, he had a 2.10 ERA, a 1-0 record, and eight saves in 10 opportunities.

Adam Walton, 2B, Visalia Rawhide (ARI - High A)

After three years in the minor leagues, Adam Walton announced his retirement from baseball this past week. Over his minor league career, he slashed .261/.326/.357 with 166 hits and 72 RBI.

One of the fixtures of that incredibly 2015 team, we wish Adam the best of luck in whatever comes next off the diamond.

Now, let’s play ball.

For vintage inspired, high quality, and well-designed University of Illinois apparel, check out Fourth and Kirby, and look for the TCR Collection while you’re at it!