Washington Nationals News: Tanner Roark settling in as a reliever

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Good afternoon DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily! Check out some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web below.

In todays Daily, Federal Baseball’s Jim Meyerriecks discusses Tanner Roark and his transition to the bullpen this season. As Jim notes, Roark struggled early in the season, but appears to have gotten used to his new role with a month of the season already in the books.

Roark, of course, is no ordinary reliever. He was one of the best starters in the National League last season, finishing the 2014 campaign with 15 wins and a 2.85 ERA. But with the Nationals’ loaded rotation, there simply wasn’t a spot for Roark this season and he was relegated to the bullpen.

Although he won’t be in the rotation, Roark will play a key role for the Nationals all season long as the team’s long man in the ‘pen. The Nationals will be keeping a close eye on Roark this season because although the rotation is full right now, he seems to be all but guaranteed a spot in the rotation next season with Jordan Zimmermann and Doug Fister set to hit free agency.

Also in today’s Daily, The Washington Post’s James Wagner discusses Yunel Escobar‘s long path to the big leagues. Escobar has arguably been the team’s best player this season, and it’s interesting to see the story of how he made it from Cuba to the big leagues. It’s an incredible story, and it’s definitely worth a read.

Be sure to check out both articles below. And as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals needs.

Washington Nationals Tanner Roark settling in as a reliever

(Jim Meyerriecks, Federal Baseball)

Prior to the 2014 season, Tanner Roark won the battle with Ross Detwiler for the final spot in the rotation.  Roark emerged as one of the better starters in the National League.  Detwiler was essentially banished into mop-up duty.  One year later, Roark has been relegated to the bullpen himself because of the Max Scherzersigning.  He began the year filling Detwiler’s former role in the bullpen, but injuries to Craig Stammen and Casey Janssen have left the Nats with a void in late inning leverage spots.  Can Roark continue to serve as a part of the three-headed setup role?  Given that the Nats would like to keep him stretched out in case of a long-term injury in the rotation, should he?

The next Ross Detwiler?

Let’s start by talking a bit about Ross Detwiler and his performance/role last season.  If you look simply at surface stats, they’ll tell you that Detwiler didn’t get off to that poor of a start.  In 14.2 April innings, Detwiler allowed just three earned runs (1.84 ERA).  Of course, that doesn’t tell us the whole story.  Detwiler was pretty decent in his first few outings.  Read full article here.

Yunel Escobar’s long and winding road to the big leagues

(James Wagner, Washington Post)

Yunel Escobar has told his story before, about how at age 21 he left his family in his native Cuba without warning, gathered a group of close friends and escaped to the United States by boat to follow his dream of playing major league baseball. But Escobar has never talked about the American girl who helped put him in touch with the smugglers. He has never talked about his eight months living and training with the smugglers in Miami until he could pay for his escape. He has never talked, in this much detail, about the dangerous, winding path he took from Havana to Miami to the majors.

Long before Cuban players became the hottest commodity in baseball and Escobar became a steady and much-needed presence with the Washington Nationals, he was just a young baseball player dreaming of a big-league future and willing to risk everything to get it. Read full article here.

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