Nebraska Baseball: It’s Opening Day for MLB. Where can you find the Huskers?


It’s a special day for baseball fans across the country as teams are taking the field for the first time for the 2015 Opening Day. For Nebraska baseball fans, it’s also a special day because a handful of their native sons will be joining the rest of the pros as the season begins. Who is starting the season in the Big Leagues?

Cody Asche
Third Baseman
Philadelphia Phillies
2014 stats: .252 average, 100 hits, 25 doubles, 10 HRs, 33 RBI

A week ago Asche battled a back injury during Spring Training, but the former Husker slugger has worked his way back into the lineup and will likely make his first appearance in the starting lineup on Opening Day. During his time at Nebraska, Asche was named a Second-Team All-American and a First-Team All-Big 12 performer while also setting a school-record of 27 doubles in a season.

Joba Chamberlain
Detroit Tigers
2014 stats: 2-5 record, 2 saves, 63.0 IP, 3.57 ERA

Mar 13, 2015; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers pitcher Joba Chamberlain (44) warms up before the start of the fourth inning of the spring training game against the Atlanta Braves at Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

The Lincoln native signed late in Feburary with Detroit and inked a one-year deal. In 2005 Chamberlain was a Third-Team All-American and First-Team All-Big 12 for the Huskers and earned a World Series ring in 2009 with the New York Yankees. Of note during his college career, he played a large part in getting NU to the College World Series in 2005 which included Nebraska baseball’s first CWS victory ever.

Brian Duensing
Minnesota Twins
2014 stats: 3-3 record, 54.1 IP, 3.31 ERA

Duensing was roughed up in his last Spring Training start giving up six runs on eight hits, seven of them in a row and five for extra bases, but he will make his first regular season start on Friday for the Twins. In 2005 he also joined the NU squad in Omaha after a regular season record of 8-0 with a 3.0 ERA.

Alex Gordon
Left Fielder
Kansas City Royals
2014 stats: .266 average, 150 hits, 34 doubles, 1 triple, 19 HR, 74 RBI

Feb 27, 2015; Surprise, AZ, USA; Kansas City Royals outfielder Alex Gordon poses for a portrait during photo day at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Arguably the face of Nebraska Baseball, Alex Gordon was awarded the Dick Howser Trophy, Golden Spikes Award, Brooks Wallace Award and the ABCA Rawlings Player of the Year award in 2005, his junior year in 2005. Since joining the Royals the Lincolnite has been awarded four Gold Gloves and two All-Star game appearances. He also was award the 2014 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year award and helped the Kansas City Royals win the AL Pennant before falling in the World Series.

Dan Jennings
Chicago White Sox
2014 stats: 0-2 record, 40.1 IP, 1.34 ERA

Jennings was traded to Chicago from the Miami Marlins this past December and in 2014 Jennings had a solid season, but did feature a scare when in August he was hit in the head with a line drive while pitching in relief against the Pirates. In his two year MLB career Jennings has a 3-6 record with a 2.43 ERA and 84 strikeouts.

Tony Watson
Pittsburgh Pirates
2014 stats: 10-2 record, 2 saves, 77.1 IP, 1.63 ERA

Watson was another large piece to the 2005 Nebraska Baseball team that went to the College World Series. His 10-2 record and 2.78 ERA bolstered an already stacked staff and lineup. In 2007 he was drafted by the Pirates and has played in that organization since then. His first MLB appearnce was in 2011 and in 2014 Watson made his first All-Star game appearance. His career stats include a 20-7 record and a 2.63 ERA with 225 strikeouts.

Each Monday we will be recapping the previous week’s results for the former Nebraska baseball players as they work through the season. GO BIG RED!!!