Washington Nationals: Projecting the production of the starting rotation

MIAMI, FL - JULY 10: Stephen Strasburg
MIAMI, FL - JULY 10: Stephen Strasburg /
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Tanner Roark

4.33 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 2.1 WAR

2017 was an extremely unorthodox year for Tanner Roark. From participating in the World Baseball Classic before the season, to dealing with off-the-field issues during the season, to not pitching in the postseason, it was just a weird year all-around.

While Roark’s overall stats were not great, this was largely due to a horrific first half. After the All-Star Break, he pitched to a solid 3.90 ERA in 14 games.

It is obvious that Roark’s 3.90 second-half ERA is a much better representation of his skillset than his overall 4.67 ERA.

Now that he has gotten the opportunity to go through his normal spring training routine, we can expect a better season from Roark. However, FanGraphs does not expect him to improve much.

According to the FanGraphs Steamer projection, his ERA will only improve by .34. It is important to keep in mind, though, that this projection is based purely on stats. It does not take into account all the weird stuff that happened in 2017.

Realistically, we can expect that Roark will return to form this year. He may not have a sub-three ERA, but it should be closer to his 2.83 from 2016 than his 4.67 from a year ago.

Even if Roark does not make drastic improvements in 2018, he should be a solid fourth starter. As a complementary pitcher, a 4.33 ERA is fine. You can expect him to perform better than that, but his projection would be just fine.