Toronto Blue Jays News

Toronto Blue Jays 2020 Report Card: Tanner Roark

rgasee
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 07: Tanner Roark #14 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches in the first inning of a game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on August 7, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - AUGUST 07: Tanner Roark #14 of the Toronto Blue Jays pitches in the first inning of a game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on August 7, 2020 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

Jays Journal contributors will be authoring Toronto Blue Jays report cards based on how each player performed in 2020. In this edition, we take a look at Tanner Roark.

Heading into the 2019-20 offseason, the Toronto Blue Jays most glaring need was starting pitching. One player they brought in to address this weakness was Tanner Roark.

Prior to landing with the Blue Jays, Roark pitched for the Washington Nationals, Cincinnati Reds, and Oakland Athletics.

After going 10-10 with a 4.35 E.R.A. combined between the Reds and Athletics, Roark landed a two-year, $24 million deal with the Blue Jays. When the Blue Jays made this signing, Roark’s role wasn’t to come in and get strikeouts. It was to eat innings and be a placeholder in the rotation until pitching prospects in the Jays minor league system are ready to make the jump to the big leagues.

In his first season with the Blue Jays which ended up being truncated due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Roark made 11 starts going 2-3 with a 6.80 E.R.A. and an opponent average of .309 in 47.2 innings.

Roark’s arsenal

More from Toronto Blue Jays News

According to Baseball Savant, Roark threw five different kinds of pitches this season. They were a fastball (31.6%), Sinker (22.9%), Slider (17.9%), Curveball (14.8%) and a changeup (12.9%).

The pitches he threw most often, fastball and sinker, both averaged 91 MPH (rounded up). With these pitches, he combined to give up 39 hits with 10 of those being home runs.

When throwing his fastball or sinker, opposing hitters batted well over .300 with slugging percentages over .700 and even batted .300 off his slider.

He fared much better with his curveball as hitters hit just .222 with a slugging percentage of .259. His slider wasn’t bad either, opposing hitters batted just .207 when he threw that pitch but it came with high-risk as he gave up four homers with a slugging percentage of .621.

Roark gave up hits with an average exit velocity of 89.2 MPH, the highest number of his career.

Split stats

This season, Roark fared better against left-handed batters than he did against right-handed ones. Against lefties, he limited them to bat just .218 as he struck out 25 while giving up 19 hits.

When it came to right-handed batters though, he struggled. He gave up 41 hits compared to just 16 strikeouts for an opponent average of .383.

By looking at his split stats on mlb.com, you would be able to tell that he struggled when he allowed runners to reach base.

Grade

Roark’s first season with the Blue Jays did not go as planned. While he was going to give up a lot of hits as he’s not known to miss bats, he gave up too many runs and walked batters at the highest rate of his career.

As the Blue Jays aim to be competitive next season after a successful 2020, it remains to be seen if the Jays will have a spot for him in their rotation for 2021 as they will look to add more pitching in the offseason.

If there is no room for him in the rotation, they may move him to the bullpen which he does have experience coming out in relief or they may seek to move on from him by trading him for not much of a return.

dark. Next. Blue Jays chances of playing in Toronto just got better

If he’s looking to improve, one thing he could maybe do is rely on his curveball more although he only averages 73 MPH with that pitch. Perhaps, he could be a decent bullpen option or even a starter against a left-handed heavy lineup.

Final grade: D

facebooktwitterreddit