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.