WASHINGTON -- Tanner Roark will not start Wednesday's home finale against the Marlins at Nationals Park, as the team is allowing him to remain at his home near Atlanta with his wife and family after the birth of their newborn son last week. Kyle McGowin will make the start in
WASHINGTON -- Tanner Roark will not start Wednesday's home finale against the Marlins at Nationals Park, as the team is allowing him to remain at his home near Atlanta with his wife and family after the birth of their newborn son last week. Kyle McGowin will make the start in his place.
The club did not provide any additional details about Roark's trip home, and manager Dave Martinez was not sure whether Roark will meet the team in Colorado. The two spoke on the phone Monday and Martinez told Roark to take as much time as he needs to get back.
"For right now, it's going to be day to day," Martinez said. "He's with his family. [I] reached out to him and I told him just to stay with his wife and kids right now."
Martinez then unveiled the rest of his rotation for the team's final series of the year in Colorado, with Joe Ross, Stephen Strasburg and Max Scherzer set to start the three games. If Scherzer reaches his milestone of 300 strikeouts on Tuesday, the Nats will let him decide if he wants to start the final game; their rotation plans are otherwise set.
So although the team has not officially ruled Roark out for the rest of the season, there is a good chance he has already made his final start of the year. In 31 appearances (30 starts), Roark has gone 9-15 with a 4.34 ERA, an uneven year in which he weaved through extended streaks of good and bad on the mound.
It paves the way for McGowin, 26, to get his first career Major League start after his rise through the organization this year. Originally acquired in the trade for Danny Espinosa after the 2016 season, McGowin progressed through the Class A Advanced, Double-A and Triple-A levels this season with a 2.80 ERA in 23 starts to earn his first September callup.
McGowin has made three appearances for the Nats, allowing two runs in 2 2/3 innings with three strikeouts and no walks.
"I didn't know anything [about McGowin] until the middle of the year, and then all of a sudden I kept hearing 'This McGowin kid, McGowin kid, McGowin kid,'" Martinez said. "My understanding is now, just by watching, he's got a good sinker and a really good slider. I'm really excited he's going to get an opportunity to start tomorrow and see what he can do."
Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.