The Washington Nationals finalized their 25-Man NLDS roster this morning, releasing it just before 10:00 AM.
There were a few surprises. Ross Detwiler was not included on the roster. Rafael Soriano was.
Ryan Zimmerman was, of course, on the roster, but his inclusion led to veteran pinch hitter Scott Hairston being left off.
Though the Nationals still haven't officially named Gio Gonzalez as the Game 4 starter, Nats' skipper Williams did talk about how Tanner Roark will be used in a relief role when met with reporters this morning in the nation's capital to talk about Game 1 of the NLDS, the roster decisions and the thinking behind them.
Williams on leaving Ross Detwiler off the NLDS roster:
"With regard to [Ross Detwiler], for the last month of the season we had three lefties in the bullpen, we decided to go with two and certainy Matt [Thornton] has been throwing the ball well and Jerry [Blevins] over the last month has thrown the ball exceptionally well. So it's not an easy decision by any stretch, but we decided to go with two lefties and had to make that one."
Williams on Scott Hairston being left off the NLDS roster:
"[Ryan Zimmerman] being back and the way that our team is constructed as it stands, Zim is going to be coming off the bench a little bit for us, and that is kind of our option, our first option, right-handed off the bench. So we wanted a lefty [Nate Schierholtz] and unfortunately it doesn't leave room for Scott."
On confidence in reliever Rafael Soriano:
"He's got everybody's confidence. It never wavered. So, our options at the back of the bullpen, we've got multiple guys that have closed games. [Soriano] is one of them, he's got 200 saves. That's a lot. So, he's one of the reasons that we're here. Was the premier closer in the first-half of the season. Went through mechanical issues and has worked diligently to resolve those. So I think he's where he needs to be. Gave him opportunities late in the season to pitch and he pitched well."
On how Tanner Roark will be used:
"Tanner is available [in long relief] and he's as long as you can possibly get."
"He'll be fine. He's done it all year long. He's been in situations where he's had guys out there and he's been in a bases-loaded situation, from a starting perspective. So, I'm comfortable with it. He doesn't get too high or too low in any stretch. So if comes into a game, he's simply there to throw the ball where he wants to throw it and get outs. So for him a situation doesn't matter."
"We could use him for one hitter if we wanted to. He does have numbers, the good thing about him starting all year is he's developed some history against a lot of guys, so we do have those numbers and he's available to do that if we need it. Again, we have to get to the game and find out how it all goes."