The Nationals made a series of roster moves today, selecting the contract of right-hander Tanner Roark from Triple-A Syracuse, optioning left-hander Xavier Cedeno back to Syracuse and transferring lefty Ross Detwiler to the 60-day DL.
Optioning Cedeno to Triple-A clears a spot for Roark on the 25-man active roster, and moving Detwiler from the 15-day DL to the 60-day DL opens a spot for Roark on the 40-man roster.
Roark has gone 9-3 with a 3.15 ERA in 33 games (11 starts) this season with the Chiefs. He has done a little bit of everything, from starting, to long-relief to closing. The 26-year-old has recorded two saves this season.
This will be Roark’s first stint in the big leagues. He was acquired by the Nats in July of 2010 in the deal that sent Cristian Guzman to the Rangers.
After finishing that season and spending the 2011 campaign at Double-A Harrisburg, Roark was bumped up to Triple-A in 2012. He put up a 4.39 ERA last season, working predominantly as a starter, and took the next step this season, ranking among qualified International League pitchers in WHIP (0.99, first), batting average against (.217, tied for first) and ERA (seventh). Roark has a solid 4.2-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio this season and has K’d 33 to just four walks in his last 10 games.
Roark also has gone 8-1 with two saves and a 1.55 ERA in his last 25 games (including eight starts).
He could serve as a long reliever for the time being, taking over the role that had been filled by Ross Ohlendorf, who is currently on the DL.
But Roark could also be an option to move into the Nats’ rotation once Taylor Jordan is eventually shut down after reaching his innings limit. Jordan estimated after his last start that he should have about four more starts remaining before he reaches that limit.
Cedeno did not appear in a game with the Nats since being promoted on Sunday when Ohlendorf landed on the DL.
Detwiler’s move to the 60-day DL ensures that he won’t return until early September (his DL stint is retroactive to July 4). The left-hander has been sidelined with a herniated disc in his back that could potentially keep him out the rest of the season.