In signing Max Scherzer for $210 million the Nationals created a rotation logjam. There’s been speculation about trading a big-name starter, but if that doesn’t happen fifth-starter Tanner Roark could be the odd man out.
Roark was fantastic in 2014, throwing 199 innings with a 2.85 ERA to give him a 2.57 ERA in 252 career innings as a big leaguer.
Obviously someone who performs that well warrants a full-time rotation spot and on most teams Roark would be at or near the top of the rotation, but the 27-year-old right-hander said all the right things about Scherzer’s arrival when asked by James Wagner of the Washington Post:
I’d think I’d be the odd man out unfortunately. It is what it is. I’m glad to be on the team and helping out the team as best as I can. If I get moved to the bullpen, I’ve done it before and I know I can do it. I have confidence in my stuff and my ability. We’re playing each year to win a World Series. If I have to get moved to the bullpen for us to win a World Series, I’m fine with that. If that’s what it comes down to, so be it.
There’s already been enough smoke surrounding a potential Jordan Zimmermann or Stephen Strasburg trade to make me think that’s a very real possibility, but in the meantime Roark deserves some credit for taking things in stride and focusing on the team.
The Giants announced on Tuesday the hiring of Gabe Kapler as manager. Kapler, filling the extremely large shoes of future Hall of Famer Bruce Bochy, inked a three-year deal, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Kapler was one of three finalists for the job, beating out Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Rays bench coach Matt Quataro.
Following his 12-year playing career, Kapler was a coach for Israel’s team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifier. He then became an analyst for FS1 before joining the Dodgers’ front office as the director of player development in November 2014. He was involved in three scandals there: one in which he tried to handle a sexual assault incident involving two Dodgers minor league players without telling police, one in which he allegedly discriminated against Nick Francona, a veteran and former baseball operations employee, and an incident that implicated most of the Dodgers’ front office concerning the recruiting of international free agents. The Dodgers reportedly kept a spreadsheet of employees and their level of criminality.
Despite Kapler’s background, the Phillies hired him as their manager ahead of the 2018 season. He would lead the Phillies to an 80-82 record that year and then helped them improve by one game in 2019, finishing at exactly .500 before being fired. Kapler’s tenure in Philly was tumultuous, often drawing ire from the local media and subsequently the fan base for not being tough enough on his players. The Phillies also reportedly had a clubhouse issue in 2018 in which players were playing video games in the clubhouse during games, prompting Carlos Santana to smash a TV with a bat.
Kapler has a history with Farhan Zaidi, the Giants’ president of baseball operations. They worked together in the Dodgers’ front office as Zaidi served as GM from November 2014-18.