Tyler Moore had a .158/.206/.274 line in his first 38 games and 102 plate appearances this season, struggling in the bench role that he filled last season for the 2012 NL East Champion Washington Nationals. The 26-year-old, '08 16th Round pick was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse on June 10th.
"I think when he was here the first time and then he went back out and then he came back in," Nats' skipper Davey Johnson explained, referring to Moore's first year in the majors when he struggled, was sent down and came back to D.C. to stay for the rest of the season. "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 struggled in the month of June with the Chiefs, posting a .178/.264/.356 line with two doubles and two home runs in 12 games. He was called back up to the majors at the end of the month, but only for a short stay. When the Nationals acquired Scott Hairston in early July, Moore was once again optioned to Triple-A. Since then, however, he's started to hit again.
In July, Moore was 26 for 65 (.400/.494/.662) with five doubles and four home runs in 17 games. The right-handed hitting outfielder/first baseman has a .355/.462/.677 line against Triple-A left-handers and a .292/.378/.510 line against righties. In four games in August, he's 5 for 17 with three doubles and a home run. On the year with the Chiefs, Moore now has a .307/.400/.551 line with 10 doubles and seven home runs in 33 games and 150 PAs.
Davey Johnson told the Washington Post's James Wagner recently that as he's said since last year, the role Moore was asked to play at the major league level was a tough one especially for a relatively young player:
"'That’s very difficult for a young player who’s playing every day to do that thing. That’s usually for old guys like me. He’s getting some valuable experience playing every day than up here not having that opportunity.'"
The Nationals announced on Twitter this morning that Moore was named the Triple-A International League's Player of the Week:
Tyler Moore has been named International League Player of the Week for July 29-Aug. 5. He hit .308 with 7 XBH and 13 RBI during the week.— Nationals PR (@NationalsPR) August 5, 2013
How long before we see Moore back in the majors with the Nats? Or is he better off getting regular at bats at Triple-A?