Tyler Moore was optioned to Triple-A Syracuse on Wednesday, following the Washington Nationals' series-clinching win over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Moore, 27, was 6 for 30 with two home runs in 18 games with the Nationals after he was called up to take injured outfielder Scott Hairston's spot on the roster back on April 6th. The move last week made room for the return from the DL of 30-year-old right-hander Doug Fister.
Now Moore is back, called up to replace injured Nats' first baseman Adam LaRoche. LaRoche underwent an MRI on Saturday on the right quad the 34-year-old infielder has been nursing, and was diagnosed with a strain.
"It's a strain," Nationals' skipper Matt Williams told reporters after last night's loss to the A's in Oakland. "It's high quad, hip flexor. Something that we've been nursing and he's been nursing. Before it gets too bad -- don't want to do it, but for the long-term health of Adam and our team, it's probably important to do that right now and make sure we can calm it as much as possible."
Williams wouldn't say what the next move would be after yet another member of the Nats' Opening Day lineup hit the DL, but he did say that it was just another injury the Nationals would have to overcome.
"Ain't nobody going to feel sorry for us," Williams said. "We've got to play. We've got to give ourselves opportunities like we did tonight and continue to do that."
Moore, an '08 16th Round pick out of Mississippi State University, made his MLB debut in 2012, putting together a .263/.327/.513 season with nine doubles and 10 HRs in 75 games and 171 plate appearances for the NL East Division winners over which he was worth +0.6 fWAR. He struggled in the same role in 2013, however, posting a .222/.260/.347 line with nine doubles and four home runs in 63 games and 178 PAs, finishing his second major league campaign at -1.2 fWAR.
He crushed Triple-A pitching when he was sent down for a stretch last summer though, putting up a .318/.395/.584 line with 14 doubles and 10 HRs in 45 games and 173 PAs on the year for the Nationals' top minor league affiliate.
Moore then continued to hit when he was recalled to the majors, ending the year with a sustained run of success at the plate, posting a .344/.375/.459 line with four doubles and a HR in his final 21 games and 65 PAs.
It was the right-handed hitting slugger's record of success given regular at bats that Matt Williams cited when explaining the decision to option Moore to Syracuse at the start of the 2014 campaign.
"'Tyler’s history is that when he has consistent at-bats, he does well,'" Williams explained to reporters, including NatsInsider.com's Mark Zuckerman in March. "'It’s tough when you’re not getting those at-bats.'"
With LaRoche out for at least the next 15 days, Moore will get another oppportunity to show what he can do with regular ABs...
Moore is starting at first for the Nationals in the series finale with the A's: