Tanner Roark Gets The Call

No, I Said The White PhoneBetween the impending shutdown of Taylor Jordan and the injuries to the Rosses (Ohlendorf and Detwiler), a callup of a minor-league pitcher was expected this week — preferably a starter or long reliever.

However, it’s not Nathan Karns, but Tanner Roark.

Roark’s contract was purchased this afternoon as Detwiler was transferred from the 15-day to the 60-day DL and Xavier Cedeno was optioned back to Syracuse. It’s the third time this season that a player has been added to the 40-man without a waiver claim (Taylor, Jeff Kobernus) as Nationals GM Mike Rizzo has proven extremely reluctant to add players during his tenure.

Roark is famously known as one of the “Guz Two,” acquired along with Ryan Tatusko from the Texas Rangers at the July 2010 trading deadline. He’s been workhorse ever since, making 27 starts for Harrisburg in 2010 and 2011, and 26 starts last summer for Syracuse, totaling 300+ innings over that timeframe.

This year, the 26-year-old has been used both as a reliever and as a starter, exiting the Chiefs rotation in late April with the ill-fated Chris Young experiment, and re-entering two months later when a spate of rainouts and ineffectiveness from other Syracuse starters forced the switch.

Since returning to the rotation on June 23, Roark has gone 6-0 with an ERA of 2.15 and a WHIP of 0.89 over 50⅓ innings.

Roark features the classic arsenal of fastball, curve and change. In relief, he can hit the mid-90s but tends to work in the low-90s as a starter. He’s always been a control pitcher, but in 2013 has dropped his BB/9 rate from 2.9 to a Milonesque 1.7. While not a strikeout pitcher per se, he’s averaged around seven per nine innings the past four seasons after starting his career with two seasons of 10+ per nine innings.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of NationalsProspects.com. Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

11 thoughts on “Tanner Roark Gets The Call”

  1. One of Rizzo’s clever deals!
    Will we see Karns stay at Burg to help
    Sens or will that blue chip staff stay
    The course until EL playoffs done?

  2. I do love when an obscure trade yields a Major Leaguer. Even still, Kilgore was premature in calling the trade for Guzman a “win.” It is like pulling a struggling pitcher out while he is still ahead. He can get the win, but if things go wrong he can’t get the loss. The worst that can happen with that trade now is that it’s a push. However, given that Guzman had nothing left whatsoever, a single win for Roark puts this one in the ledger as a win for Rizzo.


    1. Even still, Kilgore was premature in calling the trade for Guzman a “win.”

      15 replacement-level MLB games for Texas is better than 712+ innings over three-plus seasons at AA/AAA?

      1. I guess I don’t think with as broad a system-wide lens when it comes to trading a Major Leaguer. Your point is solid. I just want all of the trades to result in at least some small return at the Major-League level. No doubt Roark wanted that, too.

    1. Yeah, this guy definitely has no future with the club now! We might as well trade Cole and Ray too since they didn’t get promoted either.

    2. I would assume Roark will be a long reliever, not a start at least at first. They still want Karns starting every 5th day

    3. Karns getting recalled can still happen — it nice that Roark could start if needed, but there’s no guarantee that he will. As of this moment, he’s replacing a reliever.

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