Roark makes his case for fifth spot in rotation

Roark makes his case for fifth spot in rotation

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Nationals right-hander Tanner Roark showed Sunday that he should be strongly considered for the fifth spot in the rotation. He pitched 5 2/3 innings, allowed a run on two hits and struck out five in a 3-1 loss to the Mets.

Roark threw 73 pitches and 18 more in a bullpen session after the game. There are no more starts this spring for Roark, and manager Matt Williams said the right-hander has done enough to be in the rotation. Roark is competing against Taylor Jordan and Chris Young for the final spot.

Roark had a 3.29 ERA in four games this spring and that's not including the five-plus innings he pitched in a Minor League game against the Tigers. Roark will be on the team no matter what happens. If he is not in the rotation, Roark will be in the bullpen.

"He has been pretty good," Williams said. "He has made a very good case [to be in the rotation]. We'll get a good look at Taylor again. Yes, Tanner has made a very strong case."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.