Washington Nationals' manager Davey Johnson was hoping a trip to Triple-A Syracuse a few weeks back might turn things around for Tyler Moore, who was struggling in his role as a bench bat and backup outfielder after producing as a rookie in the same role last season. "I think when he was here the first time and then he went back out and then he came back in," Johnson explained, "I think he learned from that experience and he's doing more things and staying prepared and he's much more aggressive when he goes up to pinch hit."
"He's a great talent," the manager said, "and he'll go down there, and... it's good that he left with a nice base hit in the afternoon... and I think he will go down there with a good frame of mind." Moore was back up relatively quickly, but after Sunday's win over San Diego, the 26-year-old right-handed bat had a .151/.195/.283 line which led the Nationals to make a move to acquire veteran bench bat Scott Hairston from the Chicago Cubs. With Hairston set to join the team tonight and Dan Haren off the DL to start the team's four-game set with the Philadelphia Phillies, the Nats once again optioned Moore to Triple-A Syracuse this afternoon.
The Nationals announced the move when they made Haren's reinstatement official. Haren's taking Ross Detwiler's spot in the rotation after the 27-year-old left-hander had lower back issues after his last outing.
Haren was on the DL with "shoulder weakness" but a cortisone shot and some rest had the 32-year-old right-hander feeling more confident than he did when he went on the disabled list after a string of rough outings in June in which he had a 9.82 ERA and a .354/.391/.720 line against him over four starts and 18 1/3 IP. Haren faced the Phillies in Citizens Bank Park earlier this season, giving up seven hits, three walks and four runs in a 5-4 loss on June 17th.
The right-hander will try to help keep the Nationals' four-game winning streak going in the first game of four with the Phillies.
One Other Pregame Note: Bryce Harper is in the HR Derby... What?: