With cleanup hitter Michael Morse on the shelf for quite some time with a strained lat muscle, and now the news that third baseman Ryan Zimmerman could be headed to the disabled list with a shoulder injury, the time is now to get some power into this lineup.
Mark DeRosa, Xavier Nady, Steve Lombardozzi and Chad Tracy are all outstanding utility players that combine energy, experience and ability to keep this team on pace.
It is obvious the Nationals’ pitching is for real. It still has a long way to go, but all five starters can keep the opposition off the scoreboard.
But the bigger question now is, due to injuries to Morse and Zimmerman, how can the Nationals sustain offensively without a legit power hitter in the middle of the lineup?
There is a new employee with D.C. power who has been working for the satellite company most recently in Syracuse, New York. With a franchise-best 68 homers in less than three years, this player needs to be camping out in left field at Nationals Park as soon as possible.
It is time to call up Tyler Moore.
“There’s no reason not to call him up,” Baseball America executive editor Jim Callis said. “Moore is 25 and he’s hit throughout the minors, so it’s not like he needs more seasoning. Some scouts question if he’ll hit for much average, but the power is real and the Nationals could use some of it, even when they’re off to a 13-4 start.”
But the top question is when to call a prospect up. Should it be for need, when the player is ready or a little bit of both?
General manager Mike Rizzo told Sports Radio 106.7 The Fan that he would like to see Moore play more in the outfield before he gets him to the Nationals.
“I have to lay eyes on him to see how he handles left field,” Rizzo said in an interview with the radio station. “We like the prospects of him being a National in the near future, but I’m not sure how near that future is.”
Moore has started twice in left field for Triple-A Syracuse. He has caught two fly balls and has had to throw back to the infield on singles. He did throw back to the infield off an RBI double, but the runner on first was going to score anyway. He has not made any mistakes and has done a good job with limited chances in left field. Moore has taken extra work from the outfield, shagging fly balls in pregame from the coaches.
It seems like those days are close for Moore to play for the Nationals. All Rizzo has to do is see that Moore is athletic enough to make the plays he has to make in left field. Moore is also the power boost this team needs right now to build a lead in the National League East and not be content with just staying a slight step ahead of the competition.
So, get Moore up here now. Oh, and start booking some outfield seats at Nationals Park to catch some long fly balls off the bat from the kid from Brandon, Miss.