WASHINGTON—Righthander Tanner Roark
was about to work out, in preparation for another minor league spring
training, when he received news he didn't even think was possible. Farm
director Doug Harris called to extend an invitation to major league camp.
26-year-old Roark will be making his first trip to the major league
side after going 1-1, 3.60 in six starts for Margarita in the Venezuela
That solid showing came after he had a 2.70 ERA in 37 innings in August and September with Triple-A Syracuse.
Harris' call was "a big surprise because I thought all the roster spots
had filled up," Roark said. "I thought everyone who needed to know
already knew. It sure gave an extra boost to my workout."
6-foot-2, 220-pound Roark went 0-5 during his otherwise strong finish
with the Chiefs, contributing to him led the International League in
losses. He went 6-17, 4.39 with 130 strikeouts in 148 innings while
allowing 47 walks and 161 hits.
drafted Roark in the 25th round in 2008 after he pitched in three games
for independent Southern Illinois. He had been a second-team all-Big
Ten Conference performer as an Illinois sophomore before leaving the
team for academic reasons.
According to Roark, he has seen a
positive change since a midseason meeting with Harris and his Syracuse
manager and pitching coach, Tony Beasley and Greg Booker.
finally realizing I can only control what I can control," Roark said.
"I feel like I've matured and grown up. I had the stuff all along. It
was just the mental aspect I needed."
Roark's four-seam fastball is usually in the range of 90-92 mph, and he has a two-seamer, curveball, changeup and slider.
• Washington sacrificed its first-round pick (29th overall) when it signed free agent closer Rafael Soriano. The only other time the club lacked a first-round selection was 1982, following the Montreal Expos' signing of catcher Tim Blackwell.