Tanner Roark
Tanner Roark
32-Year-Old PitcherSP
Cincinnati Reds
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Roark posted sub-3.00 ERAs in 2014 and 2016, but his HR/9 has increased the past two years, and in 2018 his groundball rate was a career-low 40.7% -- bad news for a sinkerballer. Roark stayed afloat for stretches by riding his surprisingly effective slider, and before the All-Star break, he looked like he fixed his mechanics and revived that sinker, though those improvements didn't stick late in the year. The right-hander limped to an 8.4% swinging-strike rate in 2018, and his already-weak fastball velocity dipped again. As he enters his age-32 season, Roark is increasingly dependent on limiting walks and good fortune from the BABIP gods. With a ton of job security following a December trade to the Reds, Roark still warrants some consideration in the later rounds, but the lack of strikeouts means a lot is left up to chance from start to start. Read Past Outlooks
RANKSFrom Preseason
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$Signed a one-year, $10 million contract with the Reds in January of 2019, avoiding arbitration.
Strikes out seven in loss
PCincinnati Reds
May 19, 2019
Roark (3-3) gave up two runs on two hits and three walks while striking out seven through five innings, though he took the loss to the Dodgers on Sunday.
Roark only gave up two hits but allowed too many free passes to be effective. While he's rarely been dominant, the right-hander has a 3-2 record with a 2.92 ERA over the last month. Roark will make his next start Sunday against the Cubs at Wrigley Field.
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Left/Right Pitching Splits
Since 2017
BAA Batters K BB H 2B 3B HR
Since 2017vs Left .279 866 168 84 214 42 5 29
Since 2017vs Right .237 894 194 53 195 34 3 20
2019vs Left .317 99 16 14 26 8 1 2
2019vs Right .209 125 34 9 24 5 0 0
2018vs Left .265 369 78 29 88 16 2 12
2018vs Right .260 391 68 21 93 16 1 12
2017vs Left .284 398 74 41 100 18 2 15
2017vs Right .223 378 92 23 78 13 2 8
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Home/Away Pitching Splits
Since 2017
ERA on Road
ERA at Home
ERA on Road
ERA on Road
Since 2017Home 4.88 1.35 206.2 11 17 0 8.5 2.7 1.4
Since 2017Away 3.88 1.29 206.1 14 12 0 7.3 3.3 0.8
2019Home 3.45 1.44 31.1 1 3 0 10.1 3.7 0.3
2019Away 3.60 1.40 20.0 2 0 0 6.8 4.5 0.5
2018Home 5.24 1.34 80.2 4 8 0 7.8 2.3 1.7
2018Away 3.61 1.23 99.2 5 7 0 6.9 2.6 0.8
2017Home 5.04 1.33 94.2 6 6 0 8.6 2.6 1.4
2017Away 4.26 1.34 86.2 7 5 0 7.9 3.8 0.8
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Stat Review
How does Tanner Roark compare to other starting pitchers?
This section compares his stats with all starting pitcher seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 120 innings). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
91.9 mph
Strand %
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Tanner Roark
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Mike Barner analyzes Sunday's slate with an eye on a couple batters from the Mets' lineup against underachieving Marlins' starter Sandy Alcantara.
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Nationals' Jeremy Hellickson has had trouble giving up the long ball, so Chris Morgan thinks Cubs sluggers - like Kris Bryant - will be able to tee off today.
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Todd Zola ranks the week's pitching as elder statesman Justin Verlander is still rolling along, right into the top spot in the rankings.
Weekly Pitcher Rankings: Strikeouts on Sale in Aisle 5
9 days ago
Todd Zola's weekly pitcher rankings features Chris Sale in the top spot, as the Boston hurler looks to have turned around his season.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
During his breakout 2016 season, Roark compensated for shaky command with a high rate of soft contact. In fact, he ranked third among starting pitchers in soft contact percentage (23.1). That number tumbled to 16.7 percent in 2017, and in turn his BABIP returned to league average and his ERA climbed nearly two full runs. Roark also lost confidence in putting away batters early in the season, perhaps due to his spring preparation being corrupted by the World Baseball Classic. Deeper into 2017, the right-hander gradually regained trust in his two-seam fastball, which led to a return of the weak batted balls that carry his game and allowed him to post a career-best 10.1 swinging-strike rate and 9.6 second-half K/9. The 31-year-old has five useful-to-great pitches, hurls for one of the National League's best teams and will probably be discounted a little more than he should coming off the disappointing year, so this a decent buying opportunity.
After a rough season bouncing between the rotation and bullpen in 2015, Roark returned to a full-time starting gig last year and picked up right where he left off in 2014, posting a career-best 20.1 percent strikeout rate and again significantly outperforming his FIP (3.79). The secret to his success is not an overpowering fastball but a deep five-pitch arsenal anchored by a plus sinker. In fact, the 30-year-old right-hander was one of just four pitchers last season to get positive value from all five of his pitches. The other three names on that list (Madison Bumgarner, Jake Arrieta and Johnny Cueto) sit among the game's elite. Fatigue may have been an issue late in the season, though, as Roark topped 200 innings for the first time, and his 10 percent walk rate in the second half was a far cry from the 7.4 percent mark he posted in the first half. He's never going to be mistaken for an ace, but he will help fantasy owners cautious enough not to treat him like one. View him as a solid depth piece for a mixed pitching staff, but brace for a bit of negative correction in 2017.
The decision last offseason by Nationals GM Mike Rizzo to spend $200 million on an apparent luxury item like Max Scherzer shut Roark out of the rotation despite his impressive 2014, but injuries to Doug Fister and Stephen Strasburg still allowed him to make 12 starts as he bounced between a starting spot, long and short relief throughout the year. The constant role changes didn't do the 29-year-old any favors, though, and Roark's numbers were well off his breakthrough performance. The main culprit was a HR/FB rate that nearly doubled from the year before, soaring from seven percent to 15.5 percent, and as a pitcher who relies more on command and control of a four-pitch repertoire than on overpowering raw stuff, there's no guarantee the increase is going to simply fade away. The departures of Fister and Jordan Zimmermann in free agency put Roark back in the rotation, but don't expect another sub-3.00 ERA from him.
After a breakout season at Triple-A and impressive effectiveness as a swingman for the Nationals at the end of 2013, Roark didn't miss a beat in locking down the fifth starter role for the club last year. He finished with a 2.85 ERA and 1.09 WHIP, numbers which seem baffling given his relatively pedestrian raw stuff. Right-handers with low-90s fastballs and a merely OK assortment of breaking pitches don't impress the scouts much, but his excellent control (1.8 BB/9 so far in his big league career) and the late movement on his pitches prevent hitters from doing much damage off him despite his lack of big-time strikeout numbers. The league might yet figure him out, although his second half splits don't show any sign of it, and his .270 BABIP will probably rise to some degree, but given the defense behind him and the offense supporting him, Roark isn't necessarily a lock to regress the way it might seem at first glance. The Max Scherzer signing bumps him from the Nationals' rotation, but Roark's just a trade or injury away from being back in the fifth starter role.
Roark wasn't on anybody's prospect radar coming into 2013, even going unclaimed in the Rule 5 draft the previous season, but after putting up a superficially solid line at Triple-A he got the call to the majors when injuries wrecked the Nationals' staff down the stretch. Roark promptly shocked the world with a 1.51 ERA. While he doesn't have the strikeout rate of an elite pitcher he does limit walks and home runs, both very useful traits, but the Nats' rotation seems full up heading into the spring so Roark will likely have to head back to Triple-A to prove his September performance wasn't entirely a fluke.
More Fantasy News
Dealt second loss
PCincinnati Reds
May 14, 2019
Roark (3-2) took the loss against the Cubs on Tuesday by allowing three runs on eight hits over five innings. He struck out six and walked one.
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Starting Tuesday versus Cubs
PCincinnati Reds
May 12, 2019
Roark will start Tuesday against the Cubs instead of Wednesday as previously scheduled, Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
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Earns third win
PCincinnati Reds
May 9, 2019
Roark (3-1) allowed three hits and two walks while striking out three across six scoreless innings to earn the win Thursday against Oakland.
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Strikes out seven
PCincinnati Reds
May 4, 2019
Roark allowed two runs on four hits with seven strikeouts and two walks across 6.2 innings in a victory over the Giants on Saturday.
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Early exit in no-decision
PCincinnati Reds
April 29, 2019
Roark didn't factor into the decision in Monday's 5-4 win over the Mets, allowing four runs on four hits and four walks over 3.2 innings while striking out three.
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