Washington Nationals' manager Davey Johnson talked to the Washington Post's James Wagner last week about the difficult role 26-year-old OF/1B Tyler Moore was asked to play on the major league roster this season. As a backup outfielder and bench bat in 2012, Moore, an '08 16th Round pick, put up a .263/.327/.513 line with nine doubles and 10 home runs in 75 games and 171 plate appearances. Much like the other players on the Nats' bench, however, Moore was unable to reproduce those results at the major league level this season. Johnson explained to the WaPost reporter that he understood why it was tough.
"'That’s very difficult for a young player who’s playing every day to do that thing,'" the 70-year-old Nationals' skipper told the WaPost reporter, "'That’s usually for old guys like me. He’s getting some valuable experience playing every day than up here not having that opportunity.'" Before he was sent to Triple-A for the first time this season, Moore had a .158/.206/.274 line with five doubles and two home runs in his first 38 games and 102 plate appearances. Moore's issues continued with the Nationals' top affiliate, for whom he had a .178/.264/.356 line with two doubles and two home runs in 12 games before he was called back up to the majors. His second stay of the year was a brief one.
Upon returning to Syracuse, Moore started hitting again. In July, Moore was 26 for 65 (.400/.494/.662) with five doubles and four home runs in 17 games. So far in August, the slugger is 9 for 27 (.333/.387/.704) with four doubles and two home runs in seven games, leaving him with a .312/.395/.565 line, 11 doubles and eight home runs in 36 games.
According to a report by MLB.com's Bill Ladson tonight, a source says the right-handed hitting Moore could be on his way back to the majors sooner than later.
"The Nationals are considering bringing outfielder/first baseman Tyler Moore back to the big leagues before rosters expand in September," a "baseball source" told the MLB.com writer, who speculated that with Denard Span's struggles against left-handers this season, Moore could see more playing time than he did in his previous stints, playing left with Bryce Harper in center and Jayson Werth in right when the Nats face lefties. As the report notes, however, there was no official word from the team as of tonight.
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