CHICAGO — The Washington Nationals have been extremely impressed with right-hander Tanner Roark since he joined them from Triple-A earlier this month, and it appears the rookie could be headed for a handful of major league starts at some point in the next six weeks.
Manager Davey Johnson reiterated Wednesday that, given the team’s positioning in the standings, his focus has begun to shift to getting a chance to see some of the younger players and evaluate the talent on the ballclub in the season’s final few weeks. That would include starting Roark, who has served as a reliever to this point.
“I’m not in the position I’d like to be in, but there is a necessity to look at some guys,” Johnson said. “And we’ll be doing that. I mentioned the other day that Tyler Moore has to get some at-bats, some regular at-bats. And I’ll be doing that with some other guys.
“I’m not going to go into naming them, because that’s gonna happen on a daily basis. It’s not gonna be a set plan.”
He was asked, however, directly about Roark starting and he confirmed it was a likely possibility. Roark has not allowed an earned run in 10 innings in the major leagues and has given up just five hits.
“I see Roark getting an opportunity to start some games,” Johnson said.
When he will be getting them remained in question, and Johnson declined to divulge that information. If necessary, the Nationals could opt to give some of their starters an extra day of rest in the coming weeks and slide Roark in for one of those games.