SYRACUSE | They are two different players that took two different paths.
Their absences are going to to have two effects on the Washington Nationals Triple-A product.
In the past three days, the Syracuse Chiefs have lost baseball's much hyped top prospect Bryce Harper and arguably the hottest hitter in the entire Washington system Tyler Moore to the parent Nationals.
"This is the whole idea," Syracuse manager Tony Beasley said who managed both players this season and last in Double-A Harrisburg. "The whole idea is for all of these guys to play well and help the major league club. They have both played well enough and are filling needs at the major league level. This is what it is all about."Harper's history is known. Sports Illustrated, top pick, etc. He took the fast track to the big leagues and delivered a double and RBI on Saturday. He wears 34 because 3+4=7 the number of his favorite player, Mickey Mantle.
Moore is different.
Moore was drafted by Washington in ‘05, ‘06, and in the 16th round in ‘08. He played at one pro level in each of his four seasons until Sunday. The hype around him only recently grew with each of his seven home runs this season, but the 62 homers in two previous years hadn't garnered Harperesque attention. He is a first baseman, first and foremost, that is just starting to get some reps in the outfield. He will wear No. 57 for the Nationals. Ketchup anyone?
Harper is 19. Moore is 25.
"How they went about their business was the same," Beasley said. "For Bryce the expectations have always been high and he is living out what has been expected."
"Tyler Moore has paved his own way," Beasley said. "You respect it when a guy makes an opportunity for himself. He came in with the organization having a different kind of mindset about him, but he has performed and gotten the attention. He has been rewarded for that."
Emotionally, losing players is part of the game in Triple-A. The two empty lockers will affect the Chiefs a little. Moore was given well wishes on Twitter by Corey Brown and Mark Teahen.
"Congrats to my roomie (Tyler Moore) for his first big league call up," Brown said on Twitter. "Proud of him."
"Huge Congrats for (Tyler Moore)," Teahen said on Twitter. "Well deserved promotion to Nationals. Great guy and one of the best young hitters I've been around. #ImpactPlayer"
Harper left surprisingly after a night game was postponed. No one really got a chance to say good luck.
Around the batting cage the mood is still relatively light as the Chiefs have won five of six, but changes are coming.
Strategically, the lineup card will undergo its overhaul.
The Chiefs have been outscored 112-82 this season (coming into Sunday) with all of the eight wins coming by less than five runs and half coming by a lone tally. Now they are without the No. 4 and No. 5 hitters.
"It is two good bats. It is two good players. When you lose two good players you are going to feel that," Beasley said trying to explain the plight of a Triple-A manager. "We have to take the guys that we have and get the most out of the guys that are here. We still have a lot of capable guys."
The effects on run production might be temporary depending on the performance of Harper and Moore in the big leagues. Both are replacing disabled list moves: Harper for Ryan Zimmerman who has a shoulder injury and Moore for Mark DeRosa who hurt his oblique. The call-ups might be back.
Ask Wally Pipp how that works out sometimes.
It is the life of Triple-A. The life of baseball.
Promise, possibility, paranoia, and prospects.
One thing will remain even with the loss of the two players.
"We are still going to come out and play baseball," Beasley said.