The Braves need to give Tanner Roark a chance

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For whatever reason, there are a few faces the Braves just can’t seem to let go of — Josh Tomlin is one of those faces. On the season, the guy is sporting a 6.85 ERA and has accumulated -0.7 WAR. Recently, he’s been even worse. It’s gotten to the point where Tomlin can’t even be trusted in an 11-3 game, and after Wednesday night’s debacle, there’s no way he can be on the active roster any longer.

Presumably, Ian Anderson will take his place. He just tossed 4.1 innings of shutout ball in Gwinnett. It was his third rehab start for the Stripers, and he tossed 76 pitches. If he follows the same path as Huascar Ynoa on his way back from injury, Anderson will make his return to the mound for the Braves next week.

We’ll see how the front office decides to handle it. Given how good the rotation has been and the fact that it already has five members, they may choose to take things slowly with Anderson and let him pitch one more time with the Stripers. But regardless, there’s a veteran arm in Gwinnett that’s long overdue to make his Braves debut.

A few months ago, when things looked much bleaker for Atlanta’s rotation, Tanner Roark was claimed off waivers to provide quality organizational depth. Braves fans should be familiar with Roark from his days with the Nationals, where he was once viewed as a highly touted up-and-coming starter after posting a 7-1 record with a 1.51 ERA as a rookie and then following it up with a 15-10 mark and 2.85 ERA.

Roark never turned into the ace some people thought he might become, but he did provide stability at the back-end of the Nationals rotation for years. However, ever since leaving the National League in 2019, he hasn’t been the same. Roark was let go by the Blue Jays after recording a 6.43 ERA in just three appearances before he was claimed by the Braves.

It would be foolish to expect too much out of him at this point in his career, but he’s done enough with the Stripers to warrant an opportunity with the big-league club.┬áIn 20 appearances with Gwinnett, mostly out of the bullpen, Roark has a very respectable 2.52 ERA with a 1.19 WHIP over 39.1 innings. With Anderson close to a return, he may have to wait until the rosters expand to get a chance, but the Braves should see what they have in him while they have a little cushion atop the NL East.

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