FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal got Washington, D.C.'s baseball fans talking when he wrote this past weekend that the Astros, "...could look at the Nationals’ Tyler Moore, who played for ‘Stros manager Bo Porter in Washington when Porter was a coach with the Nationals," as they continue to search for a fit at first base in Houston.
The idea raised some questions about just what the Nats have planned for the soon-to-turn 27-year-old Moore in 2014 after he had a disappointing start to his second major league season, but once again killed Triple-A pitching (.318/.395/.584, 14 doubles, 10 HRs in 45 games and 200 plate appearances) and came on late to put up a .344/.375/.459 line over the final 21 games and 65 PAs of his 2013 campaign after a month-plus with the Nats' top affiliate from July to mid-August.
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With newly-signed outfielder Nate McLouth added to the mix and Scott Hairston under contract and expected to come off the bench as a right-handed option, Moore figures to get most of his at bats as a backup for Adam LaRoche at first base and a potential platoon partner after LaRoche struggled to hit lefties (.198/.254/.313) in 2013.
So what about the reports that Ryan Zimmerman might see time at first and what, if anything, does it mean that, (according again to FOXSports.com's Mr. Rosenthal) the Nationals were reportedly at least interested in right-handed hitting infielder Michael Young, who is being looked at as an option at first by other major league teams?:
Young played first and third in Philadelphia and Los Angeles last season. Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore has mentioned an interest in Jeff Baker on the Nationals' part on several occasions. Not everyone is convinced Danny Espinosa is right for the utility role in the nation's capital, though Nats' GM Mike Rizzo expressed confidence in Espinosa as a second baseman, shortstop and potential fill-in at third when Rizzo spoke to reporters last week.
Are the Nationals still looking to upgrade their bench? Nationals.com writer Bill Ladson wrote today in answer to a reader's question that he thought the Nats were definitely still in the market for a backup catcher and possibly another middle infielder. Mike Rizzo might not be done just yet...
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