Max Scherzer might bump him from Nationals’ rotation, but Tanner Roark is saying all the right things

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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.

Joe Kelly’s suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal

Joe Kelly suspended eight
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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.

Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.

The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.