Cards in the Majors: August 2020 Update

Matthew McGavic

After numerous proposals and counterproposals between Major League Baseball and its Players Association, baseball finally made a triumphant return.

The 2020 season finally got underway back on July 23 for a 60-game schedule culminating in a refined 16-team postseason. As you can imagine, plenty of former University of Louisville baseball players are in the mix here.

For this season, MLB teams have a 60-man player pool with a 30-man active roster. Those not on the active roster will stay game-ready at a separate location and await a call up. 14 former Cardinals cracked the 60-man player pool, with seven landing on the 30-man active roster.

Right-handed pitchers Nick Burdi, Kyle Funkhouser & Chad Green, outfielders Adam Duvall & Adam Engel, catcher Will Smith and infielder/outfielder Nick Solak all were able to crack the active roster for their respective team.

Right behind them in the taxi squad waiting their turn are right-handed pitchers Zack Burdi, Bobby Miller & Tony Zych, left-hander Reid Detmers, outfielder Corey Ray, infielder Devin Mann and two-way (LHP & 1B) Brendan McKay.

So how have former Cards performed in the big leagues early in the season? Take a look below:

Nick Burdi

Position: RHP
Years at UofL: 2012-14
Organization: Pittsburgh Pirates

W-L
GP-GS
IP
K-BB
H
ER
ERA
WHIP

0-0

2-0

2.0

4-1

0

0.00

0.00

0.50

After undergoing his second major arm surgery in just a two year span, Burdi came out strong to start the season. In his first appearance of the season on July 26 against the St. Louis Cardinals, he pitched an inning of work and struck out every batter he faced. Two days later against the Milwaukee Brewers, he struck out one but notched his first career MLB save.

Adam Duvall

Position: Left Fielder
Years at UofL: 2009-10 (JUCO)
Organization: Atlanta Braves

G/AB
HR
RBI
BB
K
AVG
OBP
SLG

8/11

1

1

0

4

.182

.250

.455

Bouncing between the Triple-A and MLB levels a season ago Duvall found himself squarely on the Braves' active roster to start his seventh season in the big leagues. It hasn't been the greatest start offensively, but he has haf his moments. He blasted a go-ahead solo home run on July 25 against the New York Mets, and made an impressive outfield snag in the ninth inning to preserve a victory over the Tampa Bay Rays on July 31.

Adam Engel

Position: Center Fielder
Years at UofL: 2011-13
Organization: Chicago White Sox

G/AB
HR
RBI
BB
K
AVG
OBP
SLG

5/16

1

3

1

5

.400

.438

.800

Throughout his time on the South Side, Engel has been known primarily for his base running and defensive prowess. But in his limited action at the plate so far this season, Engel has delivered. He has 6 hits in 15 at-bats for a .400 batting average, and on a July 31 win over the Kansas City Royals gave the White Sox all of their runs batted in via a three-run homer.

Kyle Funkhouser

Position: RHP
Years at UofL: 2013-16
Organization: Detroit Tigers

W-L
GP-GS
IP
K-BB
H
ER
ERA
WHIP

0-1

2-0

2.0

2-2

5

5

22.50

3.50

After spending four seasons in the Tigers' farm system following his fourth-round selection by Detroit in 2016, Funkhouser finally made his Major League debut on July 27 in a relief appearance against the Kansas City Royals. Though I'm sure he would like to put his debut performance in the rear view mirror, as he surrendered 4 hits, 2 walks and 5 earned runs in just 1.0 inning pitched. He however made up for it three days later in the final game of the series, surrendering just a single baserunner and striking out a batter in an inning of work.

Chad Green

Position: RHP
Years at UofL: 2011-13
Organization: New York Yankees

W-L
GP-GS
IP
K-BB
H
ER
ERA
WHIP

1-0

3-0

5.0

7-1

1

0

0.00

0.40

One of the mainstays of the Bronx Bombers' bullpen, Green is having yet another hot start for the New York Yankees. He started the season with a two inning, two strikeout performance against the reigning World Series champion Washington Nationals, earning the win in the process. He then followed that up with a scoreless inning against Baltimore, and then followed that up by striking out four and not allowing a single baserunner in two innings of work vs. the Red Sox to end the month.

Will Smith

Position: Catcher
Years at UofL: 2014-16
Organization: Los Angeles Dodgers

G/AB
HR
RBI
BB
K
AVG
OBP
SLG

5/13

1

3

4

2

.077

.278

.308

When Smith first ascended to the big leagues last season, he immediately made waves and cemented himself as the starting catcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers. However this season has been a slower start than, though he did go briefly viral after his lone home run of the season struck a cardboard cut out of a fan.

Nick Solak

Position: Infielder/Outfielder
Years at UofL: 2014-16
Organization: Texas Rangers

G/AB
HR
RBI
BB
K
AVG
OBP
SLG

5/16

0

2

2

1

.250

.333

.250

Solak has been all over the field for the Texas Rangers to start the season, putting his versatility on full display. In just 5 games, he has seen time at left & center field, first base and the designated hitter spot. It's been an average start for the most part, but he has already matched his stolen base total from last year (2) despite seeing 28 less games so far.

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