Tanner Roark to fill in for Doug Fister in Nationals’ rotation

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UPDATE: Nationals manager Matt Williams said that Roark will start Monday, per Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com.

1:20 p.m. ET: Tanner Roark posted a 2.85 ERA across 31 starts last season, but the Nationals moved him to the bullpen after signing Max Scherzer to a huge contract over the winter. That depth is coming in handy now that Doug Fister is sidelined with a strained flexor muscle in his forearm.

According to Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com, Roark will either start Monday or Tuesday against the Cubs depending on whether he’s needed out of the bullpen this weekend. The 28-year-old right-hander hasn’t thrown more than 52 pitches in game this season, so Nationals manager Matt Williams said he’ll likely be limited to around 70 pitches for his first start back.

There’s still no timetable for Fister’s return, so Roark could keep a spot in the rotation for a while.