Washington Nationals: Top 5 Seasons by a Pitcher in History
Tanner Roark, 2016
Stats: 34 games (33 starts), 210.0 innings pitched, 16-10 record, 2.83 ERA, 3.79 FIP, 1.171 WHIP, 172 strikeouts, 73 walks, 17 home runs, and an opponent’s slash line of .228/.307/.327
Awards: None (for now?)
"“He doesn’t have that prototypical-type pitcher’s body, but he’s strong. He’s built kind of like Roger Clemens was a little bit and the guy’s got some big — you know — some guts, big guts.” – Dusty Baker on Roark (h/t Patrick Reddington, Federal Baseball)"
While Max Scherzer has made all the headlines this season, Tanner Roark has been working like a machine in his shadow. After bouncing around between the bullpen and starting rotation last season, Roark won a permanent spot in the rotation coming out of Spring Training and never looked back.
His 2.83 ERA led the staff and he will likely be starting Game 2 in the NLDS this weekend. It’s probably safe to say that the team wouldn’t be where it is today without him.
Roark’s claim to fame was his knack for inducing weak contact. His 24.3 percent hard contact rate was tenth in the National League (according to Fangraphs). He didn’t throw any complete games, but pitched at least seven innings allowing two runs or less a staggering 15 times, the most in the Majors. With Stephen Strasburg’s injury troubles and Gio Gonzalez’s inconsistencies, Roark has been one of the most vital components of this team. Despite having a salary significantly lower than that of most of his fellow starters, Roark will be relied on heavily both in the playoffs and seasons ahead.