On Tuesday, former Illinois pitcher Tanner Roark was called up to action by the Washington Nationals after his recent success with the triple-A Syracuse Chiefs. He is the first Illini to earn a spot on an MLB roster since Kyle Hudson in 2011.
With the Chiefs this season, Roark has gone 9-3 with two saves, four holds and a 3.15 ERA in 33 games, including 11 starts. He ranks among qualified International League pitchers in WHIP (0.99, first), batting average against (.217, tied for first) and earned run average (seventh).
Tanner Roark spent two seasons with the Illinois Fighting Illini. During his two seasons with Illinois, he went 12-2 with a 4.72 ERA in 24 games and was named to the All-Big Ten second team in 2007.
Roark was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 25th round in 2008. He is 49-40 with three saves, 13 holds and a 3.79 ERA in 163 games (96 starts) during six seasons in the Nationals’ (2010-13) and Texas Rangers’ (’08-10) organizations.
The Nationals acquired Tanner Roark in a three-player trade that sent shortstop Cristian Guzman to Texas on July 31, 2010.
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