Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Illini's Roark Off Team

Just when I was thinking how incredibly mediocre the Big Ten Network's website is, at least in a baseball sense, they post some breaking news. BTN is reporting that Illinois' Friday starter, Tanner Roark, is off the team due to academic reasons. Roark paced the Illini in wins a year ago and was named to the All-Big Ten second team.

I'm never quite sure what to say in these situations. It's far too easy to make assumptions about the situation, so I certainly don't want to wander down that path. Here's what I definitely know: Illinois is not as good a team without Tanner Roark at the top of their rotation. And the young man can't pitch for his school this season. Neither is a positive.

Here's hoping that one of the pitchers on Illinois' roster will step-up to the new challenge and that Tanner Roark will do the same.

7 comments:

Jon Marthaler said...

Yikes... so the Illini are down their best starter (Roark) and two of their three best hitters (Lars Davis and Ryan Snowden) from last year? Could be a long year in Champaign...

schwab said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brian said...

They also lost their closer, Jake Toohey.

Illinois does get a break, as Michigan is the clear favorite, but the rest of the Big Ten is very tight.

The Illini do return a number of players with experience, but there's no question they've lost plenty of talent from '07.

Big 10 Fan said...

Illini had a great recruiting class last year. Expect great things from; Nick Chmielewski (RHP, 94mph) and Casey McMurray (OF)...Remember those names!!!

Brian said...

Hey, big 10 fan, you are ruining my Illinois preview!

No, no, no. It's all good. You are right on both counts. But, I am going to save my thoughts until the preview gets posted.

Thomas said...

I'll second that comment on McMurray. I saw him hit one out during the Orange-Blue series.

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