Manager Matt Williams said Thursday that right-hander Tanner Roark is available out of the bullpen if Stephen Strasburg can’t make it through six innings against the Marlins today in the series finale.
“Well, if we have to, we have the ability to go to Tanner (Roark), if we have to,” Williams said. “We hope that that is not the case. If we do, he would be available potentially for us long, if it gets to that. The best-laid plans are if that doesn’t happen.
“I think (Rafael) Soriano is good. The back of the bullpen is good. They are taxed, but they are good. But if it gets to a situation like we had yesterday, then our long guy today we would look to Tanner, potentially. (Craig) Stammen is probably unavailable. (Ross Detwiler) can go.”
Despite Detwiler never having pitched on back-to-back days, he only pitched one inning last night and Williams is not afraid to use him.
“He will go out and throw and we will evaluate,” Williams said. “He is available today. We would like to stay away from him if we could. You don’t know what is going to happen in a course of a game. Perfect world, I wouldn’t want to get him in a game today, but you never know. (Jerry) Blevins is good. So that is another option for us.”
Left-hander Xavier Cedeno could be an option if the Nationals want to add a bullpen arm before the road trip, but has not been activated. If he is needed, he would be activated prior to Friday’s game at Atlanta. But no move or announcement has been made. That is more of a decision for postgame depending on what happens in this game. Williams confirmed they could make a move regarding pitching after the game if they want to take an extra pitcher to Atlanta.
Williams also confirmed that right-hander Doug Fister (lat strain) threw on flat ground today and will likely throw his first bullpen since going on the disabled list either tomorrow or Saturday.