By Chris Lingebach

WASHINGTON — Tanner Roark is in the midst of the worst season of his career, but explanations as to why are in short supply.

The Nationals right-hander was pulled from his last start after only two and two-thirds innings Monday after allowing six runs against the Marlins. On the season, he’s now 6-4 with a 4.88 ERA through 15 starts.

Despite these struggles, Nationals GM Mike Rizzo insists Roark is healthy and merely struggling with command issues. That was the topic of the Burke & Herbert Bank Fan Question of the Week during Rizzo’s appearance with The Sports Junkies Wednesday morning.

What issues are you seeing with Tanner Roark right now? How can he get back on track? — Dan in Wheaton

“Location,” Rizzo replied. “He’s just got to pound the strike zone like he always has, and just be consistent with his location, keep the ball down, get that two-seamer to run back on those left-handed hitters and to hit that outside corner against right-handed hitters.”

“As long as Tanner says that he’s healthy — and he says he feels really, really good — I’m fine with it,” he said.

“We’ve got no issues with Tanner Roark. He’s going to be great like he always has been, and I feel good about him coming back in the second half and really finishing strong for us this season and going forward. The way he competes, he gets after it, and he’s a good self- evaluator and he knows what he needs to do. He minces no words when he has a poor performance.”

Follow @ChrisLingebach and @1067TheFan on Twitter


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