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Roark's role set to change in 2015

While I'm sure those on the Nationals roster are excited about the addition of Max Scherzer, with the right-hander joining an already-loaded rotation, Scherzer's reported seven-year, $210 million deal has a major impact on one National in 2015.

That player is Tanner Roark.

roark-red-pitching-short-hair-sidebar.jpgRoark won't publicly come out and complain about how his role will change if the Nats decide not to trade one of their starters after Scherzer's addition, but you have to imagine he isn't thrilled. Roark worked his way into the Nats rotation full-time last season and went 15-10 with a 2.85 ERA and 1.093 WHIP.

Now he finds himself in the bullpen, should the Nats decide to keep this group intact.

Roark has proven that he can be effective in a relief role; he's 4-0 with a 1.19 ERA in nine career relief appearances. And with Ross Detwiler now a Ranger, Roark can join Craig Stammen in the long relief role, serving as a swingman to the relievers in the back end of the bullpen.

Not ideal for someone who had as strong a year in 2014 as Roark did, but that's the situation he's now in.

Something that's important to take into account here, however, is that pitchers get injured. Fairly often.

Last season, Doug Fister and Gio Gonzalez both landed on the disabled list. Stephen Strasburg and Jordan Zimmermann have had Tommy John surgery in the past, and you never know what can pop up there.

It's a good bet that Roark will find his way into the rotation at some point - and possibly at more than one point - this season. And that's when having six strong starters will be huge.




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