Washington Nationals News: Tanner Roark easing back into relieving


Good evening DoD readers, and welcome to today’s District Daily. Get caught up on the latest Nats news and opinions with some great Washington Nationals articles from around the web below.

In today’s Daily, James Wagner of The Washington Post discusses Tanner Roark and the whirlwind of a season he is having with the Nationals.

After a stellar campaign as a starter in 2014, Roark began the 2015 season in the bullpen—losing his spot in the rotation to newly acquired starter Max Scherzer. But with the injuries that have plagued the Nationals’ pitching staff this season, Roark has also had some opportunities to start.

While Roark’s versatility as a starter and a reliever this season has been an asset for the Nationals, adjusting back to relieving proved difficult for the Nats’ right-hander. As Wagner notes in his article, Roark struggled mightily after a brief stint in the rotation earlier this season. After returning to the ‘pen, the right-hander allowed 10 runs in 9 1/3 innings of work.

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Since then, however, Roark has readjusted nicely to his roll as a reliever. As Wagner notes, Roark has pitched well of late, posting nine scoreless innings in his last six appearances out of the ‘pen.

If Roark can maintain his recent string of success, he’ll be a major asset in the bullpen for the rest of the season. Given the struggles the Nationals have had with their ‘pen this season, a dominant Roark pitching multiple innings in the middle of the game or key innings late in the game should be a big help for the Nationals down the stretch.

Also in today’s Daily, Federal Baseball‘s Patrick Reddington discusses what role the Nationals might have in mind for Doug Fister, who lost his spot in the starting rotation last week and is now in the bullpen.

Be sure to check out both articles below, they’re definitely worth a read. And as always, stay tuned to DoD for all your Washington Nationals needs.

Tanner Roark easing back into relieving — again

(James Wagner, Washington Post)

Tanner Roark had done this before so he knew he would be fine. Toggling between starting and relieving within the same season isn’t easy but he did it well in 2013 and earlier this season. But when he moved back into the bullpen after a brief second stint as a starter this season, Roark wasn’t  the same. His first five appearances in July resulted in 10 runs over 9 1/3 innings; he lost a tie and let a one-run deficit get out of hand. Opponents hit .350 against him.

“I thought my mindset would be the same from relieving to starting, just go up there and do your thing,” he said. “But it’s definitely a different mindset. It’s not just revert back. After a couple outings, it helped me get my mindset back to where it needed to be.” Read full article here.

Quick Take: What do Washington Nationals do with Doug Fister?

(Patrick Reddington, Federal Baseball)

Matt Williams talked after Doug Fister’s last start about the problems the 31-year-old right-hander has dealt with over the last few months as he’s struggled to keep the ball down in the zone.

“For him it’s about down,” Williams said. “The down angle, the ball moving down, and when the ball is up it doesn’t have a chance to do that, so it moves laterally, especially to the left-handers and they can stay on the baseball and hit it to the middle of the diamond.” Read full article here.

Next: Rapid Reaction: Joe Ross Loses Command In Loss To Dodgers

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