Roark uncertain to make next start after rejoining family

The Nationals may need to do some more rotation finagling this week, with Tanner Roark’s status again uncertain.

Roark, whose wife gave birth to the couple’s third child last week, returned to his home in Atlanta on Sunday. Manager Davey Martinez said the right-hander is still penciled in to pitch Wednesday’s home finale against the Marlins, but the club is making plans in case that doesn’t happen.

“Tanner went home, so we’ll address that,” Martinez said. “I’m going to talk to him in probably a little while. We do have a game plan if he doesn’t. But as of right now, we’re assuming that he is.”

Roark-Pitch-Blue-v-PHI-sidebar.jpgRoark last pitched Sept. 16 in Atlanta, allowing two runs in 5 1/3 innings to earn the win. He departed SunTrust Park immediately after the game to join his wife, Amanda, who gave birth to their first son, Eli, later that evening, according to her Instagram page.

Roark originally was slated to start Saturday against the Mets, but after rejoining the club Thursday, Martinez announced he would be given more time to get himself ready physically and mentally and said he’d start Wednesday against the Marlins.

Rookie Austin Voth took Roark’s spot in the rotation and tossed five scoreless innings against New York to earn his first career win.

Roark, meanwhile, left the Nationals again Sunday and returned to Atlanta to be with his family, leaving Wednesday’s starting assignment unclear. If the veteran doesn’t pitch as planned, the potential replacement options likely would be Joe Ross (who last pitched Friday) or Jefry Rodriguez or Kyle McGowin (who have been pitching in relief in recent weeks but were starters earlier in the season).

As for this weekend’s season-ending series at Colorado, we do know Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer are lined up to make their final starts of 2018 on Saturday and Sunday, respectively. Strasburg is on the mound tonight, with Scherzer set to pitch Tuesday in search of his 18th win and 300 strikeouts (he’s currently sitting on 290).

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