If you look at the stat line from his first start of his major league career, you might cringe at the thought of him starting again, but if you look deeper into the start, you would see Bud Black isn’t crazy. The final line for Roach was 4 runs on 4 hits and no strikeouts in 3 innings. Despite the fact that it looks, and is, terrible it was the third and final inning of his start where all the damage was done. In the first he was able to work around a pair of walks and 1-2-3 second. Then he blew up in the third and with his spot in the batting order coming up in the 4th, the decision was made to pinch hit for him.
Almost every pitcher has a difficult inning in each one of their starts and their ability to limit the damage in that inning can be what defines the start. Roach couldn’t control the damage and his start ended up being defined as a bad start. If he can get over the hurdle of a bad inning, he may be able to go deep in the ball game and get the win.
The confidence in Roach isn’t unfounded. Despite not having consistent time in a minor league rotation, 54 starts and 53 relief appearances in 4 years, he’s put together pretty solid numbers. He had 3.41 ERA, a 6.8 strikeout rate, and just a 0.4 home run rate. Also his numbers in the majors out of the ‘pen have translated nicely. Everything aside from his rough third inning last time out, leads Bud Black to believe that Roach can be a successful member of the Padres’ rotation.
He’ll take to the mound again tomorrow against Travis Wood and the Cubs, where he’ll hope to have more success than he had his first time out.